Club Crawl: FC Bayern München Fan Club Long Island
In this edition we are heading back to the United States where we spoke to the president of FCB Fan Club Long Island, Sebastian Münkwitz, about how their club supports FC Bayern from 6,450 km away.
|Prost Bar & Grill (Garden City, NY)
|Facebook, Twitter, Website
Tell us the story of how your fan club was founded and what the fan club means to you and your members.
When I came to the States in 2011, I was looking to find some people to watch some soccer with and support our beloved Club across the atlantic. I found the FC Bayern Fan Club NYC in Midtown Manhattan and joined them on the day of the CL Final “dhoam” in 2012 vs Chelsea. Since then, I was hooked and watch many games with them even today. Over time, I met a couple of people from Long Island and we agreed that while FCB NYC is great, the travel was sometimes more than 1h special for a 9.30am (3.30pm in Germany), which was way too long and not convenient for many of us. With this in mind, I decided to look for a place on Long Island and start a fan club out there.
Even though I was told many times “are you crazy or are out of you mind” I stuck to the plan and slowly we spread the word over the Island and established the first and only FC Bayern Fan Club here on Long Island. Over the past 5 years we created a small but great community of soccer and Bayern enthusiastic and not only that… since 97% of ours members are local, some of us became friends and beside watching Soccer we also do things together outside the supporter world. I think it is great how many different parts of life and the world we come from, but if we come together to support our club nothing else matters. We are a great social club with great people and always open to welcome anyone.
Where and how do you watch Bayern games? Do you have special traditions (e.g. chants, food, beer, etc.) that you follow on matchday?
Prost Bar & Grill in Garden City, NY is the official home of our club. Most matchdays, there are enough people to all fit at the bar together where we can enjoy one of the many beers Prost has on tap including Hofbräu, Paulaner, Radeberger, Spaten and Weihenstephaner. We also have a matchday tradition of taking a halftime picture of all fans who came out to watch the game, regardless of if you are a Bayern fan or a fan of the opposing team. All matchday pictures can be found on our club’s Facebook page.
What has been your best experience as a fan so far?
In recent history, the best experience for most Bayern fans and our club members probably comes from the 2013 Champions League Final. Following the heartbreak of losing the final at home just the year before, beating Dortmund in that game was really a great achievement for the team and became something that Bayern fans worldwide could celebrate together.
How often do you or your fan club members come to Munich?
Because we have a diverse group of members when it comes to age and background, the frequency of Munich visits varies from member to member. We have only made one organized trip as a fan club to Munich (discussed more in detail below), but many of our members are from Germany or have family there, so for them, trips to Munich are more frequent.
Has your club made a trip to see Bayern live as a group? What was the experience like?
Yes! Our club took a trip back in 2018 where on March 31st we saw Bayern beat BVB 6-0. Robert Lewandowski scored a hat trick (5’, 44’, 87’), with James Rodriguez, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery each scoring one. It was truly an incredible game where we sat just 15 rows up from the pitch. Not only did we see the game but before that we got a short tour of the Bayern training ground Säbener Straße, watched Bayern train, and then went directly to the Allianz where we did a behind-the-scenes tour of the Allianz Arena. The club did so many great things together and we all truly had an amazing time.
What would be your dream as a Bayern supporter?
The dream for all Bayern fans must be to win another treble! When we last did it in 2013 it was a truly remarkable and historic achievement and although it’s a remarkably-difficult task to achieve it is what all Bayern fans, players, management and coaches should strive for! Many members of our club had the chance to meet Philipp Lahm when the team came to play Real Madrid in NYC a couple of years ago so having another club legend like Bastian Schweinsteiger or Manuel Neuer visit the club would be another great moment for us.
Do you interact with other fan clubs and if yes, how?
Prost Bar & Grill itself is actually the host to many fan clubs from not only Bundesliga teams but many teams from the English Premier League. Often the game times of Bayern games and the EPL matches overlap so we often meet fans of all clubs at the bar and welcome all of them to enjoy their matches with us. Prost has plenty of TV’s and plenty of seating options for people of all ages to enjoy a great match. We also often interact with the local fan clubs in New York City, sometimes watching games with their members. We also traveled with them to Red Bull Arena and MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to enjoy a Bayern training session and the match against Real Madrid.
What games are the most fun and/or draw the most people to your watch parties?
Each game is a fun time with the great people we have as club members. Weekend afternoon games often attract the most people, due to most people being awake and off from work. Although the outcome was disappointing, both recent CL games against Liverpool had GREAT showings, with many fans from both our club and the Liverpool fan club there. Despite the intensity of the game, there was never a negative moment between us and the Liverpool group and I think that is a great example of the family-friendly atmosphere we try to have.
Join us for our next segment of “Club Crawl” as we continue to explore FC Bayern fan clubs around the world and learn the unique ways that they support the club.