This summer is set to serve up a feast of sport, with Euro 2016, Wimbledon and the Olympic Games all keeping sports fans on the edge of their seats.
With the European Championship taking place in France, the Olympics in Rio and SW19 tickets at a premium, attending the events can range from difficult to impossible, so why not recreate the stadium atmosphere indoors?
Making an indoor stadium can add a new dimension to your home and ensure you can enjoy all the sporting excitement without having to spend money on tickets or even leave the house.
One of the major complaints that attendees of sporting events have is the quality of the seating – sadly, fitting tens of thousands of people into a stadium means that it is just not possible to give everyone an extra comfy chair, and so rows of plastic seats are used instead.
However, when you’re watching the game in the comfort of your own home, you can choose precisely where you sit and what you sit on, so the options are almost endless.
The classic choice is La-Z-Boy, which is perhaps synonymous with American armchair sports fans, but actually produces a wide range of furniture that would fit into most living rooms, with the added option of several recline functions and even cup holders and speakers so you literally don’t have to leave your chair for the entire match.
If you’re having lots of people round for the game, then recreating the stadium feel may actually be preferable, in which case you can substitute the hard plastic stadium seating for some cushioned, foldable chairs that can easily fit in lots of people while still providing a degree of comfort.
Food and drink
While opening a burger stand and a bar in your home is taking things a little bit too far, you can still do your bit to offer a diverse food and drink selection that is a break from the norm.
If the weather is good, then setting up the barbecue outside is an excellent way of creating burgers, hotdogs and vegetarian options that can then be carried indoors to eat in front of the match – and easier still if your house has patio or bi-fold doors.
Of course, the British weather is also liable to play a part in scuppering your ambitions, but thankfully there is the oven as a stand-by if the rain begins to pour.
Drinks-wise, it could be worthwhile investing in a dedicated drinks fridge that can be located close to the seating and minimise the chances of missing an important moment while you are walking to the kitchen for a drink.
If tennis is your thing, then Pimm’s and strawberries can easily be purchased form the supermarket for a fraction of the price you would pay at Wimbledon: game, set and match indeed!
The best thing about attending a live sporting event is the atmosphere, and although it is not quite possible to replicate the experience exactly, modern technology enables the armchair viewer to come pretty close, with the added bonus of replays, different camera angles and the pause button.
A big TV is a must, and although 4K is not quite industry standard yet, anyone investing in a new TV would be wise to buy one as TV networks gradually upgrade their broadcasting to the highest possible picture quality.
Of course, a great picture is nothing without great sound, and a good sound bar and surround sound system can help to make all the difference and ensure that the roar of the crowd is hitting the ears from every angle to make you feel like you are actually present at the game.
One disadvantage of watching a game at a stadium is the inability to replay great moments, but the recently introduced Sky Q enables viewers to pause a live sporting event in one room, and then begin watching immediately where they left off in another room, ensuring they don’t even need to miss a throw-in, let alone a goal.
With seating, sound, visuals, food and drink all accounted for, a few optional extras can help to round off the experience and maximise every viewing experience.
Wearing an all-white tennis outfit for Wimbledon or a full England kit for Euro 2016 matches may be taking things a little far, but there are plenty of ways to enhance the experience, particularly if you are having friends round.
Bunting never goes amiss and can be easily taken down, while a football table, Subbuteo set or games console and Fifa game can instantly enable you and your friends to recreate a match that ended in disappointment.