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Posted at 2:12 PM ET, 08/ 6/2010

Something for the weekend: Where to hold your fantasy football draft

By Fritz Hahn

The NFL season is almost upon us, and for some football fans, that means only one thing: It's time to start thinking about fantasy football teams.

In the old days, you would have to gather everyone in your den (or, more likely, a cramped studio apartment) to hold a fantasy football draft, with team owners quickly scanning fantasy football magazines. These days, the Internet has made the whole process much more mobile -- groups of friends can head out to a Wi-Fi equipped bar and hold their fantasy draft while enjoying beers and nachos and letting somebody else clean up the mess.

If you're planning on holding a draft party, these bars all offer space and free Internet use for draft parties. Not surprisingly, most prefer that you call ahead and schedule your event for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Just BYO laptop.

Crystal City Sports Pub
One of the area's largest and most popular sports bars, Crystal City Sports Pub is a mecca for college football fans from September to December. First, though, NFL fans can enjoy the free Wi-Fi on all three floors.

Dogfish Head Ale House
The main bar at this Gaithersburg beer house can get crowded, but there are small private rooms and tables for 8 to 10 people upstairs. There's no room reservation charge or drink minimum, though the management asks that you call ahead and be flexible. (It's best to schedule on a weekend afternoon, and they probably won't be able to accommodate a group on a Thursday or Friday night.)

Duffy's Irish Pub
Duffy's opens its back dining room to fantasy football drafts on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during August. There's no reservation fee; just call in advance and wrap up the festivities by 11:30 p.m.

Town Tavern
This Adams Morgan bar has already had calls about hosting draft parties, says events coordinator Meg Runeari. It's no wonder: There's no charge or drink minimum to reserve the bar's second floor, and they'll even hook your laptop up to a TV if that's required. Doors open at 3 on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and they're also willing to reserve the space on weeknights. (Except for Fridays, of course, when the place is packed.)

The Ugly Mug
On Barracks Row, the Ugly Mug opens its small back room to groups of up to 15. There's no charge to make a reservation "as long as you're eating and drinking," the management says, and no food or beverage minimum. A bonus: The bar opens at 11 a.m. daily.

Ventnor Sports Cafe
Adams Morgan's lone sports bar will convert its second-floor lounge area into a draft-day conference room, with long tables and a projection screen so everyone can follow the draft board. There's no charge to reserve the space; owner Scott Auslander says they can easily accommodate groups of 10 to 12, or larger if necessary.

Where else have you held a fantasy draft party? Let us know in the comments.

-- Fritz Hahn

By Fritz Hahn  | August 6, 2010; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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My first choice for a draft spot would be Trusty's. Cool, sports friendly and (last time I checked) fast wi-fi. Could even hold it outside on their patio.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 6, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I actually called Trusty's while doing research. They told me that the Wi-Fi wasn't so hot outside the first floor, and I feel like the bar there is just a little cramped for 10 people with laptops, you know?

Posted by: Fritz_Hahn | August 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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