I had the opportunity to enjoy a very thrilling NBA Finals Game 7 last week at 4Play Sports Bar. A handful of friends and I were seated first row in front of the 24-foot HD projection screen. The experience brought us to one conclusion: That every major sporting event should be watched at 4Play.
That atmosphere wasn’t like anything I have experienced before. You could tell that everyone in the building was a basketball fan. Though the crowd slightly favoured the Lakers, there were plenty of Celtics fans jawing whenever Kobe had the ball. Both crowds were so loud that it felt that we were actually in the Los Angeles Staples Centre watching Derek Fisher nail the game deciding 3-point shot live. After every made basket, fans from each team would jump out of their seats, hit some high fives, and cheer from the top of their lungs (yes, I lost my voice by the end of the night). Whenever the Celtics had the ball, chants of DEFENSE would fill the room. At first I had thought that it was coming from the sound system, but was surprised to find out that it was actually fans in the building doing the chanting.
4Play had hired a DJ for the night who would play themed tracks during commercial breaks. Lakers tie up the game after trailing by 13? He would rip out Dr. Dre – California Love during commercial break! This made the experience even more exciting… slow speech-based commercials never slowed down the excitement of the night. The music kept everyone on the edge of their seats and ready for the next segment of basketball.
Our waitress was amazing. My group arrived separately and were running various tabs, but our waitress was on top of it all and had the bills perfectly split at the end of the night. She also knew that it wasn’t a good time to ask for drink/food orders during the game. She would always come around during a dead ball, time-out, or commercial break. This was a HUGE winner for me and really added to the in-game experience.
Service was prompt, we had pitchers coming minutes after we ordered them. I also gave their ‘famous’ poutine a try and it definitely lived up to it’s name. The theatre seats came with a removable table that you can snap on to the chair and place food/drinks on. These theatre seats are the most comfortable place you can watch a game outside of your own home.
When the game ended, and Kobe ran out the dying seconds of the 2010 NBA Finals, the DJ dropped Drake – Over. Yes, the game was over. And as a Boston fan who gloated for the first 3 quarters, so was my dignity. But for some reason I couldn’t stay down on my defeat. I looked around me to hear music was pounding, people jumping up and down hugging each other, strangers from across the room with matching Kobe jerseys exchanging high fives… I couldn’t help but smile. It then dawned on me that this is what Winnipeg sports fans had needed for a long time. A place where many fans of similar interests can get together, and enjoy a sporting event in a large venue with countless amounts of high definition television sets. There was a never a moment in the night where I didn’t have a full view of a TV screen. Anywhere I turned, they had a television set playing the game. 4Play Sports Bar is definitely the ultimate experience for any sports fan, and EVERY major sporting event not taking place in Winnipeg should be watched there.
I just wished we had this place during the Canada/USA Olympic Gold Medal match. It would have been epic.
4Play Sports Bar & Entertainment Zone
323 Portage Ave.
Across MTS Centre