From the smell of popcorn and hot dogs in the air to the fiery first moment when the game starts, there's nothing quite like being at a live sporting event. 

Diehard and casual fans alike flock to games all over the nation at all times of the year, and it's easy to see why. 

If you've never been to a live sporting event before, it's important to understand what to bring with you and what to expect from the experience.

Rent a Hotel Room

Unless you happen to live within walking distance of the arena you'll be seeing a game at, it's a good idea to ensure you have a comfortable plan for after the game, such as booking a hotel at Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner and taking rideshare to and from the game. 

After a long game, you'll likely feel wiped out. The last thing you'll want to do is to trek to your far-away parking spot, fight the traffic trying to get out of the game, and then make the drive all the way home. 

Renting a room allows you to relax in a comfortable environment before and after the game, making the experience that much more enjoyable. 

Pack a Bag To Bring To the Game

Planning ahead is essential for enjoying a sporting event. Too often, people make the mistake of thinking that all they need to bring is their tickets and their wallet. 

The fact is you'll likely need much more than that. First, keep in mind that sporting arena seats are often cold, uncomfortable plastic, so a comfortable seat cushion is essential for hours of sitting. 

If you're near the back of the arena, you'll also want to bring binoculars so you have a good view of the field.

Prepare for all types of weather as well. If you expect it to get chilly as the game progresses, a small blanket will help you stay warm. A poncho or umbrella is helpful in case it rains, and sunglasses are a must-have for certain events as well. 

Other things to bring include bug spray, a portable cell phone charger, sunscreen, noisemakers, and other fan gear. 

Plan To Spend More Than You Expect

Remember to bring a wallet with both cash and credit cards with you, as purchasing concessions and souvenirs are often much more expensive than you'd think. 

In fact, a beer and a hot dog will easily cost you over $10 and may cost you more than $20. Multiply that by several people or several trips to the concession stands, and you'll easily spend $100 or more before you even consider souvenirs. 

If you plan to drink alcohol during the event, don't forget to bring a valid ID. Most arenas are sticklers for checking.

Dress For Comfort, Not Fashion

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to dress for comfort when you're visiting a sports arena. 

You'll likely be doing a lot of walking, especially if you're parking instead of taking rideshare, so wear comfortable shoes and socks. 

It's also a good idea to dress in layers in case you get too cold or too warm during the game. A jacket or hoodie over a T-shirt, a baseball cap, and a pair of jeans is always a good bet. 

Don't bring any expensive items or wear any jewelry that you don't want to risk losing.

Decide If You Want To Tailgate

If you're driving yourself to the game, you might decide that you want to tailgate with your friends first. This is a great way to get pumped for the game but only if you have the right equipment. 

Buy a tailgating tent that will protect you from sun or rain and grab a few coolers to fill with ice and drinks. Speakers to play music and games like cornhole are perfect for pre-game entertainment. 

Of course, you'll want to eat, so don't forget a portable grill, all the food and condiments you can handle, and trash bags to clean up your mess before the game starts. 


Whether you've been to a thousand games or this will be your first one, it's always a good idea to look over a checklist beforehand. 

This ensures you have the time of your life and don't get stuck without something you need. 


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