I’m driving home from work the other day listening to the Michael K show on ESPN Radio. The topic of conversation was, “What makes a great sports bar?”
Everyone on the show had an opinion, but nobody had an answer. That’s because there is no right or wrong answer. The answer depends entirely on what works for you – as the sports fan and as the sports bar owner. For a sports bar owner, the answer is providing what your fans want. But fans vary in their likes and dislikes – that’s why there are so many sports bars on Staten Island and around the New York Tri-state area. They all cater to different tastes.
As the show went on the hosts spoke a lot about their big “dislikes” in a sports bar. One host said too many TVs are no good. Another said that was fine, but too many big TVs were a problem. Michael Kay seemed to like a big bar with every game covered.
Everyone seemed to agree, however, that a blaring sound system and screaming DJ was a complete turn-off for their game day experience.
As an audiovisual designer and installer, I can honestly say that there is no reason why you can’t have the best of every world. If big TVs are your thing, why not have them? Screens can go up to 96 inches and larger today, and, if you want to go even bigger without dropping a ton of money, you can look at two-piece projection systems. You just want to make sure they are all placed correctly, so they are pleasing to the eye and add to the aesthetics of the room.
How about multiple TV screens? Well, if it looks like Best Buy threw up on your walls, that’s no good. But, if the panels all match and serve a purpose — other than just being there for the sake of bragging rights on whose sport bar has the most TVs -– a ton of TVs can be just the right touch, allowing your guests to be able to watch virtually every game without ever turning their head.
What is the right volume? The truth is the proper volume depends on the system. No matter the venue, a patron should be able to feel and enjoy the music while still being able to have a conversation. Yes, that is possible. Two things have to happen:
1. The room needs to be tuned right and
2. You must keep the volume before distortion level.
As a child, I was always taught that it was possible to stand out without having to draw attention to myself. In other words, most times the clean-cut, well-dressed quite guy in the room will garner more attention than the obnoxious, so-called cool kid or the class clown. And it will be the right kind of attention, from the right people, too! This same theory can apply to your restaurant, bar, lounge, or club.
Think about it. If you have TVs that are placed so well that they do not even seem like they are there, no one will complain but anyone who wants to can enjoy the game. Imagine having a conversation at a dinner table with such a good vibe going that you want to get up and dance. Is that your foot tapping to a beat? That’s right you are enjoying yourself to some good tunes played over a good sound system.
There’s an old expression that says you can’t be all things to all people. But that’s not quite true, either. With the right audio visual systems in your Staten Island, New York sports bar, and if those AV systems are designed, installed and tuned properly, you can take all those negatives people hate about certain sports bars and turn them into positives to make your place the best game in town