The atmosphere is electric. There are cheers and shouts from people of all walks of life. Most of all, there’s a sense of unity. With hands in the air and intensity in their eyes, at this moment, the game is the only thing that matters.
‘Where are we?’ you ask? Well chances are, if you aren’t at the game, you’re at least watching it — and it only makes sense that you’d be in a bar setting, cheering on your favorite sports team displayed on the big screen.
Bars are a place where people can come together under one roof to enjoy a night of drinks, dancing, and communal bonding. And just as bars bring all types of people together, sports offer unity in a similar fashion. For years, bar owners have held televised sporting events in their establishments not only to generate revenue, but also to provide a sense of community. Sports offer a source of global entertainment and belonging, cultivating a sense of identity and purpose for people that share similar tastes for a game or team. People seek out bars to watch sporting events because the atmosphere is unbeatable and alcohol is an additional bonus. Being around other fans creates a more enjoyable experience, even for fans of the losing team. In fact, some may argue that bars offer greater benefits than watching a game at home — bringing people together from all walks of life and creating communal connections with other fans.
The popularity of televised sporting events is steadily rising. What’s more, the complementary senses of pride and unity have only grown stronger in the sporting world due to easier accessibility through media outlets. Collegiate sports have become a lifeline for college students whose school spirit has significant bearing on their athletic department’s rankings. Bars have created opportunities for these students to demonstrate their pride for their universities’ sports teams. When college teams progress in playoffs or otherwise succeed, local bars can automatically assume they’ll see an increase in revenue across the board.
However, the peculiarities of this scene may change depending on what sport is in season. In general, all sports bring in crowds of people to the bar scene, but there remain fluctuations in which sport generates the most revenue from drinks, food, and fans. College football has by far the greatest turnout, however the NFL, NHL, and MLB all closely follow the NCAA’s lead. Most bars will offer some kind of promotional tool or event on game days, such as drink specials (e.g. penny pitchers) in order to draw more people to their bar. Specials are most often offered on college football game days.
College towns are a prime example of why bars flourish so well. They provide a shared environment for sports enthusiasts and students looking for social entertainment. At the end of the day, sports cultivate the feeling that with a team comes belonging; you are a participant in something bigger than yourself. Couldn’t that be the same for its fans? These fans feel like they aren’t just watching a game, they are part of it. College students look for such organization in themselves and find it in a bar setting where everyone becomes a community of both athletes and students. Bars allow for social interaction especially with a drink in hand.
Written by the staff at Willie’s Pub and Pool. Willie’s has great drink specials and is one of the most atmospheric bars Columbia MO has to offer.