Following a successful stint of NFL matches at Wembley, American football has never been more popular in the capital. So popular in fact, that chancellor George Osborne has even pledged the full backing of the UK Government in a bid to permanently station a team in London.
So it will come as no surprise that there are a plethora of London bars, venues and football clubs throwing open their doors on Sunday 1 February in a bid to entice you in to drink their beer while you watch the 2015 Super Bowl. This year, the New England Patriots go toe-to-toe with the Seattle Seahawks in one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
So sit back, read this helpful guide to NFL (if you need help understanding what’s going on), and plan where you’re going to watch Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday night.
Frankie's, Stamford Bridge
It's football, Jim, but not as we know it. Stamford Bridge is more used to hosting our version of football, but the Super Bowl will also be shown in Frankie’s Sports Bar and Diner. The party kicks off at 9pm with the game starting around 11.30pm. The place is named after Frankie Dettori and also has links to chef Marco Pierre White (although we can’t guarantee either will actually be there cooking your chicken wings).
The game to be shown on 12 HD TVs, competitions, games, raffles, American food, beers, bourbons. The landlord will call time at 3am.
Tickets range from £7 to £20.
Bloomsbury Lanes, Tavistock Hotel
The feedback we had from last year’s event at Bloomsbury’s premiere bowling venue was pretty good and this year it looks like they've gone all out with none other than Trevor Nelson hitting the decks. The whole of the venue’s three floors will be taken over by football fever and if that isn’t enough, there's also bowling and karaoke to keep you occupied before the game.
Expect: A free beer with every ticket, several DJs over the course of the night, American food, beer pong tables, pool, and even more HD screens than last year.
Costs: Between £8 and £15.
Super Bash, Indigo at the O2
The king of Super Bowl parties, Super Bash has been a fixture for several years now and is organised by NFL UK. Tickets are sold out, so if you haven't already got one, or know of a friend who's daft enough to give you theirs, then we're afraid you'll just have to try harder next year. Last year, the event was held at Koko in Camden and this year sees the epic party move to indigO2 — which can hold up to 2,300 gig-goers!
Expect: Pizzaz. Appearances by NFL stars, the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders, and all manner of entertainment.
Cost: Sold out, sorry. Maybe next year.
No sporting event would be the same without it being beamed live on to the screens of Temple Walkabout. Usually packed full of antipodeans, the venue should be crammed full of NFL fans come Sunday night as they seek to take advantage of numerous TVs dotted throughout the bar.
Expect: Numerous HD screens, “the biggest big screen around”, live social media feeds, American food and cold beers.
Cost: £20, which includes a free hot dog and Budweiser.
The Social, Portland Street
This is our favourite of all the Super Bowl events taking place, not least because it’s for charity. In the five years it's been going, The Social has raised an impressive £8,000. This year, every penny of the ticket price goes to the charity SCI — which helps treat people with tapeworm in the developing world.
Expect: Guilt-free entertainment as it's for a good cause, not to mention several screens beaming you the action coupled with an amazing sound system. You could close your eyes and believe you're at the game.
Cost: £8 in advance/£9 on the door.
Carlsberg Sports Bar, Leicester Square
The cheap and lazy gag here would be: if Carlsberg did Super Bowl parties... But it just so happens they do. The Carlsberg Bar in the Casino at the Empire boasts multiple screens as well as drinks promotions and a casino in the same building. Still not sure? Have a walk around their bar via this ingenious Google Street View link!
Expect: Carlsberg. And plenty of it.
Cost: Free. Not so much of a gamble after all!
Club Aquarium, Old Street
Just around the corner from Londonist Towers, Club Aquarium is more used to seeing in the early hours in the company of clubbers, not sports fans. But Sunday will be different, as NFL fans pour through its doors to watch the Super Bowl. The night will also be hosted by AFC Wimbledon’s ‘The Beast’ (Adebayo Akinfenwe) — who terrorised the Liverpool defence recently in the FA Cup.
Expect: Crystal Palace FC’s cheerleaders ‘The Crystals’, swimming pool (bring your own costume but towels are provided), jacuzzi, XBox, games room, beer pong and American-themed food.
Cost: Between £10 and £200 (for a table of eight).
A hidden gem among London sports bars, Jetlag at Fitzrovia gets things going early with a screening of the film Draft Day. With 10 TVs spread over two floors, fans are also assured they'll get a ‘guaranteed’ view of the game.
Expect: Lots of food and drink. In fact, the ticket is all inclusive so you’re probably going to want to get your money’s worth!
Cost: £115 — but it's all you can eat/drink.
Planet Hollywood, Haymarket
Nothing says America in London better than Planet Hollywood. And with a whopping 18 screens you’re only going to have to glance up from your chicken wings to be able to see the tackles fly in. The venue is offering set menus and will stay open until the game has finished.
Expect: Food and the game in a more relaxed setting.
Cost: £15 entry which includes a glass of beer/wine/soft drink.