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Cheering From Afar: Tips For Succeeding As An Away-From-Home Sports Fan

Written by: Katie Conroy

Being a fan of a team that is based far away can be a challenge, but it is becoming easier to stay connected and loyal despite the distance factor. There are plenty of ways to tune into the next big game and keep track of the latest developments, and many people are finding that they are able to connect with other fans of their favorite teams in new locales to build up a solid cheering section. Here are some of the best ways to stay an avid fan despite living away from your favorite team.

Streaming options make it easier to access your favorite team's games

Almost every team has an opportunity at some point of the season to be featured in a nationally-televised game, but dedicated away-from-home fans want to check out the action much more frequently than that. Luckily, a handful of streaming options have been developed that provide a much-needed avenue for fans to ensure that they won't have to miss a minute of the battle.

Some people turn to satellite or cable services, while others will embrace opportunities to watch their favorite teams via the streaming options that are available from outlets like ESPN, CBS, or even Verizon. Additional possibilities come via options like Sling TV, Roku, PlayStation Vue, Yahoo!, and even Twitter. Oftentimes there is a financial commitment involved in accessing these services, so fans may look for bars and restaurants that are broadcasting their team's latest battles.

Restaurants and bars can be great options for finding the game and meeting other fans

No matter where you live, there are almost always a variety of restaurants and bars that dish up games that otherwise would be tricky to find. One upside to following this route is that oftentimes, this becomes an opportunity to connect with other fans of your favorite team. It is typically more fun to celebrate the successes and mourn the defeats in the company of others, so finding spots that regularly cater to your team's schedule can be a great way to go.

No matter where you live, there are almost always a variety of restaurants and bars that dish up games that otherwise would be tricky to find. One upside to following this route is that oftentimes, this becomes an opportunity to connect with other fans of your favorite team. It is typically more fun to celebrate the successes and mourn the defeats in the company of others, so finding spots that regularly cater to your team's schedule can be a great way to go. Try apps like FirstTouch and Sports Bar Finder that can point you toward the best spots to watch your teams. 

Certain restaurants will cater to certain sports, too, so keep that in mind as you investigate.
A German beer hall is more likely to have a soccer match, while a nearby pizza joint might be showing a college hoops game. 

If finding a local spot to watch the game doesn't pan out, fans shouldn't give up on connecting with other fans of their favorite team. Some smartphone apps are trying to speak to this market, and aim to target away-from-home fans and assist them in connecting with others who are passionate about the same teams. You can also check Facebook, or if you aren’t on social media, other sites also allow you to search for a network of friends and former classmates to meet up to watch your favorite teams together.

Amp up the experience with food and drinks inspired by your team’s hometown

Finding the game and connecting with other fans are key to thriving as an out-of-town fan, but many people want to round out their experience with food and drinks that are reminiscent of where their favorite team is from. 

For example, it is a given that when one thinks of Wisconsin sports teams, food involving cheese is virtually required. Washington Wizards and Nationals fans might want to have some DC Brau or foods associated with Bethesda and the Washington, D.C. area, such as half smokes. New Orleans sports fans don't want to miss out on their beignets, which are popular in their hometown, and there is no doubt that if you're cheering on the Philadelphia Union, Phillies, or Flyers, you need a Philly Cheesesteak for sustenance. 

It can feel isolating at times to be a dedicated fan living far away from your favorite team's home base. Luckily, there are ways to watch the game at home via one of the many available streaming options or you can find a local joint that will broadcast the game. Throw in some food and beverages that help you connect to your team's hometown and meet up with other locals who love your team as much as you do, and you'll almost feel as if you're back home right in the thick of the action.

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