College football season is back! After graduation, alumni continue to attend football watch parties to socialize with their former classmates and fellow fans, and we know where to go for football game fun and craziness. Before attending an alumni watch party, make sure to dress in your school colors and reminisce on those days of part-time jobs and internships, attending class in your sweatpants, and engaging in late-night revelry and cram sessions before exams.
Because of possible COVID-19 restrictions, the watch parties at these locations may be subject to change according to the limits and guidelines imposed by the establishments. Nevertheless, to continue curbing the spread of COVID-19, all football fans are highly encouraged to get vaccinated if they can and wear masks indoors per the most recent CDC guidelines.
With safety measures in place, it’s time to get your football on in Orlando! The search for the finest venues to watch football in Orlando is on for college football enthusiasts! You can watch all the action at Orlando restaurants, pubs, and some of Central Florida’s greatest attractions.
Also, check out Florida Citrus Sports (FCS). FCS is a non-profit membership organization devoted to boosting tourism, supporting economic growth, and helping charities, educational institutions, and improving the quality of life in Central Florida through its hallmark events. FCS members and guests are sure to enjoy the festivities.
What are watch parties?
Watch parties are meetups in bars or other locations where people gather to watch their favorite teams play football. Going to a watch party is a fantastic thing to do and enjoy in Orlando, and you can reconnect with alumni and old friends from school.
Watch parties give the fans a game-day experience that makes them feel like they're inside their preferred team's stadium, no matter where they're viewing the action from. When hosting a watch party, be cautious about bringing in fan clubs from rival teams, run raffles to keep people around throughout the game, and make the group feel welcome.
Watch parties are the more convenient and affordable choice if you want to go to an NFL game, but it’s a bit pricey, especially if you reside in a city with a vibrant fan population. And, no matter how spectacular your home television is, watching the games from your couch week after week might become tedious and lonely.
Fortunately, Orlando has some excellent sports bars for football viewing and mingling with like-minded sports gurus. These establishments come equipped with plenty of TVs, a fantastic beer and bar cuisine selection, and a sizable fan following. So whether you want to watch a game with friends or get caught up in the excitement of your hometown, a good sports bar will make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action, even if you’re not at the game.
Every major city has at least one bar that will almost certainly offer the “just perfect” ambiance for watching any game or sporting event. If you’re searching for a local bar in Orlando that holds a watch party for an out-of-state school, the best place to look is the local chapter of your respective alumni organization. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of fantastic places in Florida that would be ideal for a viewing party. Here’s a list of Florida college alumni clubs with watch parties hosted in Central Florida.
FSU Football Watch Parties
The Florida State Seminoles football team is the American football squad representing Florida State University (often called Florida State or FSU). The Seminoles participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The squad is well-known for its illustrious history, unique helmet, war chant, colors, and numerous school customs.
If you’re looking for a great place to watch an FSU game, consider the following:
Seminole Club of Greater Orlando (SCGO)
You can watch all FSU football games, as well as select games from other sports, with your fellow Seminole alumni, family, and friends at Seminole Club of Greater Orlando’s official game-watching site.
The Seminole Club of Greater Orlando (SCGO) is an all-volunteer alumni club in the Greater Orlando region representing Florida State University. Seminole clubs are organized groups around the country devoted to the academic and athletic objectives of Florida State University. SCGO serves as the official chapter of the Alumni Association in the Orlando metroplex.
Throughout the 2021 season, join the Seminole Club of Greater Orlando at the following locations for FSU watch parties. Choose from a wide range of foods, beverages, cocktails, and shots. Events begin one hour before kickoff and are open to the public free of charge.
Visit Harry Buffalo in downtown Orlando for every FSU game. Harry Buffalo offers the finest watch party experience, complete with snacks, highlighted drink specials, and engaging games and prizes.
Your "herd" will have a pigskin fiesta with TVs adorning virtually every wall. Make the most of halftime by visiting the complete liquor bar. If you’re also an NFL fan, you can enjoy a winning Monday Night Football meal at a bargain, with boneless buffalo wings for just 60 cents (orders of six). Alternatively, you can match a craft beer with a bison burger served on a pretzel bun.
There’s just one spot in the Orlando area on game day where you can have it all: American Social. Located on Sand Lake Road, it’s in the heart of all the Central Florida action. Additionally, it has late-night hours and drink specials up to 50% off during happy hour.
If you want to get in some family time before the college games, Saturdays feature a brunch menu starting at 11 a.m. Start celebrating early with bottomless mimosas until 3 p.m.
And if you want to mix things up and catch some Monday Night Football, supporting a little NFL action in addition to cheering on your alma mater, take advantage of “Burger Monday,” available all day, every Monday. Pair your “Social Smash” or horseradish cheddar burger with a bourbon or whiskey while you enjoy a pro game.
UF Football Watch Parties
The University of Florida’s (UF) football team is commonly known as the Florida Gators, representative of their notable mascot. Florida plays in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Southeastern Conference’s (SEC) Eastern Division. They play their home games at the university’s Gainesville campus on Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (nicknamed “The Swamp”).
Central Florida Gator Club
On game day, join fellow UF alumni and enjoy complimentary food, beer, wine, water, and soft drinks in a covered cabana at the south end zone overlooking the field during pregame warmups.
Additionally, the Central Florida Gator Club features three excellent viewing areas for UF football games, including:
Elixir in Orlando hosts one of the official Central Florida Gator Club’s “Swamp Parties” or watch parties for viewing UF football games. So on UF game days, dress in orange and blue and visit this quirky pub for all your Gator fan fun.
This Orlando pub is a fantastic spot to watch Gator football games with other Swamp fans. Enjoy burgers and tots loaded with cheddar, bacon, jalapenos, sriracha, and homemade ranch as you cheer for your favorite college team.
Also, you don’t have to limit your football viewing to Saturdays and college football games. Don’t miss out on your chance to also watch the professional games of your choosing because this location has the NFL Sunday Ticket.
Broadway Pizza Bar
If you’re searching for delicious pizza paired with UF football game viewing and a welcoming atmosphere in Central Florida, look no further than Broadway Pizza Bar. They serve New York-style pizza and fresh salads, calzones, pasta, and wings to satisfy your Italian-inspired cravings. In addition, Central Florida Gator Club members receive 10% off food, half-price appetizers, and other amazing deals to make your viewing experience fun, tasty, and affordable.
Friendly Confines at the Altamonte Mall is the newest Central Florida Gator Club watch party partner and the exclusive Seminole County watch party site for UF football fans. This sports bar carries sports memorabilia you can opt to purchase to adorn yourself in your fav team’s colors as you eat, drink, make conversation, and cheer on your alma mater or university of choice.
Gator game watchers can get a taste of Chicago at this family-owned restaurant when they indulge in their “Famous Cubbie Claws” (fresh chicken fingers), Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, and more.
UCF Football Watch Parties
The Knights is another name for the UCF football team, representative of its mascot. This Central Florida university football team competes in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the American Athletic Conference (The American) East Division. UCF’s main campus in Orlando hosts its home games.
UCF Alumni Association
Do you want to see The Knights play but can’t make the trip to attend an away game? Not to worry, the UCF Alumni Association hosts UCF football watch parties throughout the country for fellow alumni.
With food, drinks, friends, and excellent UCF football, you’re sure to have a good time, even away from the on-the-field action. The Young Alumni Council and Wall Street Plaza host the official watch parties for UCF football away games at the following location:
Get decked out in your black and gold attire and head on over to Hooch to cheer on the Knights. This unique Orlando bar features industrial and steam-punk decor and serves up its famous “Hooch Moonshine,” a house-batched concoction available in “Apple Pie,” “PB&J,” and “Strawberry Lemonade” flavors, all for $3.
The bar opens an hour before the start of each game. At registration, each Young Alumni Council visitor is given a ticket to exchange for a free draft beer. Other drink specials are available, including free shots every time UCF scores a touchdown.
USF Football Watch Parties
The South Florida Bulls is representative of USF’s athletic teams, paying allegiance to Florida’s cattle-raising roots. The University of South Florida’s football team carries on the school’s mascot namesake, more commonly known as just the “Bulls,” and participates in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) American Athletic Conference (The American). The team’s home games take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
USF Alumni Association
The USF Alumni Association, made up of former students and friendly benefactors, hosts football watch parties. These viewing experiences provide a relaxed environment to socialize and celebrate as the Bulls take on rival teams and fulfill the association’s commitment to keeping alumni connected and further supporting USF Bulls and the university. USF Bulls watch parties include food and drink deals, door prizes such as tickets to future Bulls home football games, and USF Bulls décor.
Orlando establishments hosting these watch parties include:
Recognized as downtown Orlando’s best outdoor terrace restaurant, Ember, is said to be evocative of the laid-back communal pubs seen across Europe and the Mediterranean. So travel connoisseurs may be in for a real treat when they attend the well-maintained social atmosphere to mingle and watch some college football. “Eat. Drink. Celebrate.” is Ember’s catch-phrase, and that’s precisely what you’ll be doing at a USF Bulls watch party!
You can choose from their wine, beer, craft beer, and soda selections to pair with some appetizers for the table, including “Pork Croquettes,” “Coconut Shrimp Sticks,” “Pickle Fries,” and “Chicken Empanadas.” For your entrees, you can keep it simple with a sandwich, salad, or flatbread, or try something more original like Ember’s “Blackened Fish Tacos,” “Shrimp and Grits,” “Grilled Chicken Pesto,” or “Peppered Steak Skewer.”
UM Football Watch Parties
The University of Miami is one of the most illustrious and accomplished football schools in NCAA history. The UM Hurricanes participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division (ACC) and are amongst the top in their class.
Orlando ‘Canes: Miami Alumni Association
The University of Miami Alumni Association’s Orlando branch calls themselves the Orlando ‘Canes. Being a part of this group allows you to help the UM community around the globe stay connected locally. UM volunteers link alumni, parents, students, and friends via various activities and events, including college football game watch parties. Their programming includes educational and social activities, as well as networking opportunities with people from diverse professions. So you can grow while making friends and having a good time!
One of the Orlando hotspots where you can enjoy viewing a UM football game includes:
Ace Cafe Orlando is a comprehensive restaurant and bar, standing out as not only a café but a pit stop for those embracing its lively culture and rich traditions based in motorsports. Ace has live music, private event spaces, a motor-inspired art exhibit, and a retail shopping experience situated in a prime 3-acre downtown Orlando location.
Historically, Ace got its start in London in 1938, frequented by truckers and other travelers. The dynamic brand’s popularity has increased over the years, and it now caters to motorists of all kinds, attracting primarily motorcyclists, car enthusiasts, and rock ‘n roll fans. You can take advantage of all Ace has to offer, even on non-college football days, when you become a member of the Ace Fan Club.
While you’re there enjoying a UM game, try their “3 Beef Sliders,” “Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf,” “Bourbon Chicken,” or “Philly Cheesesteak.” Ace is also home to several trademarked gourmet burgers for the burger lovers out there, including “The Jameson Bleu” and the “Impossible Burger.” You can also indulge in several sides or desserts, including “Chicken & Waffles.”
Join the Action!
Watching a college football game in person is an incredible and engaging experience. Still, there’s something uniquely wonderful about sitting back with friends or friendly strangers, drinking a few beers, eating cuisine that’s not diet-approved but still so tasty, and taking in the action via a big screen — generally at a much closer range than you’d get at a stadium.
So, if you’re hanging out in Orlando and want to watch your favorite Florida college football team score some touchdowns, then gather your friends and head out to a watch party at one of the fun bars we’ve discussed here. You’ll probably see us there too!