Tips for Engaging Sports Fans at Your Next Meeting

Tips for Engaging Sports Fans at Your Next Meeting

Let’s face it, if you’re a sports fan and you’re trying to decide whether to attend an out-of-town event or meeting for work, one of the things you do is check what games you’ll miss while on the road. But as a meeting planner, you can use this to your advantage and put a check mark next to the after-hours activity box. Take your group out to a game! Alexandria, Virginia, located minutes from Washington, D.C., is a homerun destination for small to mid-size meetings when sports fans are a part of your team. Read on to learn how to make it work for you.

Base hit

Plan a post-meeting activity at the local sports bar. Great for networking, you can even capitalize on some natural rivalry to create a fun and simple team-building exercise. (Did someone say sports trivia?) From taking over the bar to booking a private room, Alexandria has numerous options for virtually every type of fan. And Alexandria’s walkability means most are easy reached from your meeting location or hotel without extra transportation. Here’s just a few of the top choices:

Image credit: L. Barnes for Visit Alexandria

If you’re a Patriots fan, Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub is your home away from home any day the Pats play. It’s also a popular spot for watching the World Cup, the Olympics, MLB and other events. The Pub’s upstairs is available to rent for private functions and can accommodate up to 98 people for receptions or sit-down dining.

It’s only fitting that a restaurant owned by the former Redskins quarterback would be a hotspot for watch parties. With its 40-seat bar right by the King Street Metro, Joe Theismann’s has all the football fans need. A rooftop patio and multiple dining rooms can be combined to accommodate groups up to 120 in size.

Catch NFL games, college football and local team games (Capitols, Nationals, Wizards) at Anchor Bar at Fish Market. For weekday games, get your pre-game on at the Market’s Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. The Fish Market can accommodate groups of 25-100 with any seating arrangement you need.

 J. Stone’s offers an extensive beer list with 90 bottled beers in addition to cask beer and brews on tap. So you can drink your favorite brew while you watch your favorite team! The private Stuart Room seats 30 people for dinner and can be set up for sit-down meals, buffet, or cocktail parties.

Bugsy’s Pizza Restaurant and Sports Bar has been a staple for sports fans for more than 30 years and is best known for drawing Capitals fans—former owner Bryan “Bugsy” Watson is a retired NHL player.  Private rooms can accommodate up to 80 guests.

Double play

Alexandria’s proximity to D.C. and Maryland make it easy to take your group to the stadium and watch the game in person. Just pick your favorite sport – there’s the Redskins and the Ravens, the Nationals and the Orioles, the Wizards, and the Capitals all within range for an evening outing. To get to D.C. you can jump in a water taxi and within minutes go from Alexandria to D.C. and receive a water-side tour at the same time! The Baseball Boat takes you directly to Washington Nationals’ games, for which the Visit Alexandria staff is happy to help secure group tickets. The Metrorail is also an easy way to get from Alexandria to D.C. or Maryland.


Sports fans are always up for the opportunity to catch a game live. With so many professional sports teams playing near Alexandria the odds are high that your attendees can attend one in person if they arrive in town early, or stay after the meeting has adjourned. In addition, when you look outside the immediate area around Alexandria, you’ll find every pro sport imaginable, from surfing championships to horse racing, tennis tournaments and Nascar, not to mention golf tournaments. Alexandria provides a major draw for bleisure travelers looking to add a few fun, sport-themed activities to the front or back of their business event.

Even if you can’t or choose not to plan a group sports activity, you can share the information above with your potential attendees. We guarantee it will help you hit a homerun on your turnout!

Insider Tip: Contact the team at Visit Alexandria to get Washington Nationals tickets for your group and a ride on Potomac Riverboat Co.’s Baseball Boat.

Header image by Adam Fagen, flickr user afagen