Created on 2015-02-18 at 09:00 AM
Just outside the New York City limits, lifelong FC Bayern fan Sebastian Münkwitz set up the FC Bayern Fan Club Long Island, NY in 2014. Since its founding, the club has grown to over 60 members.
In the fourth installment of the fan club profiles, FC Bayern Fan Club Long Island founder Sebastian discusses his experiences from his beginnings as a fan in Germany to the Bavarian charm the fan club fosters on Long Island. To learn more about the FC Bayern Fan Club Long Island, NY visit it on social media and at its home pub Plattduetsche Park Restaurant.
How did you become an FC Bayern fan and what made you start a fan club?
The Bayern gene was practically placed in the cradle. My dad is a huge Bayern fan, so I was brought up one as well. I started taking an interest in soccer in the mid 90s, and some of my biggest role models at the time were Matthäus, Scholl, and Kahn.
I came across the New York City fan club just before the 2013 Champions League final against Dortmund. The place was packed and the atmosphere was great, and from that point on I spent a lot of time with them. Unfortunately due do the distance between Long Island and Manhattan it became increasingly difficult to make the 9:30 games, and after finding no alternatives, I decided to start my own [fan club] on Long Island. We came across the Plattduetsche Park Restaurant, our home bar, during the World Cup. It was then when I noticed a number of Bayern fans who also faced the same dilemma as I did regarding distance to watch Bayern games and they seemed happy with the plans I had to start a fan club.
What are some of the challenges as a fan club?
The main challenge is still the early kick-off times. In addition, finding a place that would open for a few people early on the weekend was not easy, but Plattduetsche Park has been patient with us. We love it there and their support makes us feel welcome. The U.S. office in New York and our three board members have also provided excellent assistance and all the support that we need for our daily operations.
Tell us about the community aspect of the fan club.
Because we’re still a relatively young fan club we haven’t had the chance to put on many events. To start off our social activities, we held a fundraiser called Team Joseph for seven-year-old Joseph battling cancer, but this is only the beginning. We have ‘Stammtischs’, barbeques, and a bowling tournament planned in addition to joining the Cross Island Crew (the New York Cosmos supporter group).
What is your favorite moment with the fan club?
I have two favorite moments, actually. The first was a match day on a rainy Saturday when we had 12-15 fans for a viewing for the first time – that eased whatever doubts I had about starting a fan club. The second was our Christmas party. We celebrated together as one big family with the New York City fan club, bringing a smile to families. That’s what Christmas and being part of a fan club are all about – friendship, community, and a sense of belonging.
Contact FC Bayern Long Island, NY:
Home Pub: Plattduetsche Park Restaurant, 1132 Hempstead Turnpike Franklin Square, NY
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