Survival Tips for the Traveling Sports Fan

This article was thoughtfully written and contributed by Luke Murray from Council of Neighbors.

If you really love your team, there’s a good chance that you’ve at least considered making a trip to a different city to support them at their away games. Leaving the comfort of your own home, your own local bar, or your own stadium or arena (all filled with like-minded fans) can make even the most ardent sports fan a bit apprehensive. If you’re heading to Fort Point or elsewhere in the Boston area to follow your team, here are a few essential tips for finding a little piece of home.

The internet is your best friend

Before the internet, it was tough or often even impossible to track down a bar or restaurant friendly to your team when you were in a different city. Tracking down like-minded fans to enjoy the game with? Even harder. Today, the internet – especially through social media – connects anyone and everyone and makes it fairly easy to find your colors amidst a sea of opposing fans.

For example, TeamBarFinder is a crowdsourced site where you can search for a friendly bar wherever you are, for a variety of sports teams from the NFL, NBA, NCAA, and more. There are also plenty of fan-centric apps that allow people in the same vicinity to connect with each other and watch the big game together.

It may even be worthwhile to place a personal ad on a site like Craigslist, simply saying I’m a fan of X team and will be in X city for the game, does anyone know where I can find some like-minded fans?

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget the massive power of social media like Facebook and Twitter. It’s easy to put out an open call for sports fans wherever you are, and any social media post has the ability to reach hundreds of people who can help.

Know the area you’re traveling to (do your research)

Showing up in the Boston area without any knowledge of its sports culture or fandom is a recipe for disaster. Get to know about the Red Sox, for example, if you’re going to be watching your team at Fenway or at a local sports bar. Areas like Fort Point are wonderful to visit on a sports-related vacation because of the wonderful sports bars that cater to a fervent fan base. If you do intend to make it to Fenway here are some great tips and tricks for having a great time while you’re there.

Be respectful

No matter where you find yourself (even among friends), you’re likely to also be surrounded by fans of your opposing team. It’s important to remember that, as an away fan, you may not be entitled to the exact same amount of in-your-face fandom as the fans of the home team.

“By all means, wear your team colors, but do it with restraint. A hat or scarf is great. A jersey is fine. A full team warmup suit accompanied with team pom-poms and face paint? That’s a little too much. Save that for when you are going to a home game,” notes “The same holds for your behavior. Don’t get belligerently drunk and scream. That type of behavior is permissible (some might say ideal) when you are rooting for the home team, but as an away team fan, you should be more demure.”

Don’t be afraid to travel to support your team. Boston will be happy to have you! If you brush up on our sports culture, remember to be respectful, and use the internet to find people and places friendly to your fandom, you can have a great time, even away from home. We think you’re going to love it here.