Forget about national governing body – and its international counterpart, for the minute. Forget about spectator capacity, room nights and infrastructure.
Concentrate on fantasy.
As the fantasy MLB season – and the March Madness bracket racket – moves to center stage, it’s time to take a look at those facilities that have created a niche in hosting those fantasy drafts, bracket building sessions and more.
And not surprisingly, venues have risen to the occasion. In fact, just about any indoor (our outdoor, depending on your location) venue that has high-speed Internet, catering, plenty of seating and some private function space, can capitalize on the need.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that some excellent indoor facilities have stepped up to the plate to host, so to speak.
Rocky Top Sports World threw its hat into the ring this season when it offered up private facilities for draft parties, including a private draft room, online access, buffet-style food and more.
Then there was also the idea, suggested by Sporting News, of using a stadium, since many of those have private suites.
Money Magazine had a city-by-city guide to great fantasy draft spots, so those who were interested in heading out could find not just great draft locations but excellent options for entertainment, recreation and more after hours.
In the blog, How They Play, author JL Martin notes,
The concept of fantasy sports has grown from someone's small idea into one of the most popular group activities in the country. A great fantasy football league can keep old college buddies in touch over the years or make new friends in a nervous office environment. Fantasy baseball and basketball becomes an obsession that has to be monitored daily in order to maximize success.
And if you’re going to have an obsession, you might as well have the proper backdrop for the draft. Martin suggests a variety of options, including “Last Year’s Lower’s House” and “The Best Sports Bar in Town.” Of course, he also has others: Las Vegas, Nevada, a cruise ship and the VIP lounge of a nightclub – all of which are more likely to be options for the well-heeled league. (By the way, the local conference room at work was mentioned as an option – but considering the expectations of grandeur these days, that has about as much glamour and cache as hosting the reception for the royal wedding in the church basement.)
But as fantasy sports continues to gain a following (the Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimates that as recently as five years ago, $1.18 billion changed hands in these organizations), it’s obvious that like many other drafts, the fantasy draft will only increase in importance – at least to those involved – and will therefore demand funds to make one’s presence worthwhile.