Created on 2014-12-02 at 11:00 AM
Washington D.C. is home to various political groups and organizations, but one group in particular has taken over the capitol with its Bavarian charm: Official FC Bayern Fan Club, DC Bayern Capitol 11. With over 130 members, DC Bayern Capitol 11 has continued to grow since its creation in 2011.
In addition to supporting FC Bayern, the fan club has adopted a charitable activities initiative which founder Michael Fähnle-Hedge says allows the fan club to give back to the community. Following a successful book drive for the Arlington Pediatric Center, the fan club will host a Toys for Tots collection for the U.S. Marine Corps’ gift program for underprivileged children at its Christmas party on December 6.
Michael shares his experiences as a Bayern fan in the U.S. and talks about how the DC fan club came to be in the first on many fan club profiles. To learn more about the DC Bayern Capitol 11, visit it on social media and at its home pub in Arlington, Virginia.
How did you become an FC Bayern fan and what made you start a fan club?
I’m a Bavarian by birth and have been a fan since childhood. I’d been watching Bayern in pubs in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia area for a number of years. Whenever I’d show up for a Bayern Champions League match I’d always see a lot of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and AC Milan fans. I was lucky if I saw one other Bayern fan randomly in the pub. I decided I was tired of watching Bayern by myself, so the idea was born for a fan club. It started out simply as an attempt to organize Bayern fans from around the DC Metro Area, but after a while it became much bigger than that.
What is your favorite part about being involved with a fan club?
Really, it’s getting to meet so many new and interesting people. DC Bayern Capitol 11 has very much adopted the German concept of the “Stammtisch” (regular group meetings). Many of our club members don’t simply show up to watch Bayern matches and then leave afterward to go on their way. Often times, we show up a couple of hours early and leave a number of hours after the match has ended. This allows us to socialize and foster a sense of community, discussing soccer or Bayern related topics among other things. Our match viewings often become an “experience” not just an event. And of course, it also allows us much more time to celebrate Bayern’s many triumphs!
What are some of the challenges as a fan club, especially one that is so far away from the club?
One of the main challenges is live match viewings given the time difference, but providing an atmosphere for Bayern fans has become an incentive to wake up early for matches. Another is watching a match in person at the Allianz Arena. Many of our members have flown to Munich for matches in the past, and we are working hard to organize something in the near future to allow our members to travel together and experience a game at the Allianz Arena not just as a fan, but as a fan club.
Contact DC Bayern Capitol 11:
Home Pub: Summers Restaurant and Sports Bar, 1520 N Courthouse Rd (Arlington, VA)
Start your own fan club
Want to start your very own official FC Bayern Fan Club? Check out the benefits of being a fan club member and how to get started here.