Nachiket Karnik: I was having an informal conversation at the Nomad with Jake Rueter about how the Midway was going to become the focus of the MNUFC fan base starting in 2019.
We thought it would be fun if those of us who lived in the Midway organized a wandering tailgate where each gameday a different household would host and MNUFC fans could come hang out.
Obviously, a group activity needs a group and we were born. Since founding, we’ve expanded our scope beyond just the tailgating and we’re in the process of establishing some structure around ourselves. I think this is going to become a very important group given the team’s long-term presence in the neighborhood and how it’s drawing fans to move here.
NK: “Midway” because we’re a Midway-neighborhood centric outfit. The “Wanderers” refers to the wandering tailgate that moves between our homes. It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek in reference to the “Wanderers” suffix used by “propah English footy sides”. “Midway Wanderers” rolls off the tongue quite nicely.
NK: The main goal of the group is to organize the MNUFC fans living in the Midway neighborhood. That is a bit vague which is intentional. Many of us have more specific ideas on what this group should do but we don’t yet have a formal charter (or a mission) written down. We will have one soon and if I had to guess, there will be an element of advocacy for our neighborhood involved. But we haven’t got far enough to say that with certainty yet.
We haven’t kept ourselves exclusive to Midway residents. Our friends living elsewhere and others who enjoy spending time here have also been welcomed into the group. Folks who do not stand with the SGs in the stadium are welcome to join us as well. We will have a strong out-of-stadium component. We also haven’t totally figured out what our in-stadium component looks like.
Given that Allianz Field isn’t open yet, we’re still in the embryonic phase. We’re working on a charter now and figuring out what our leadership structure will be. I think we’ll be ramping up our work as 2018 rolls on with the goal of being fully established and running well going into 2019.
In 2017, Jake made an MW flag and Scott Demeranville made a t-shirt. We had one tailgate at my (Nach’s) place. Members have also been using our Facebook group to coordinate some informal watch parties.
NK: So far we’ve been attending Dark Clouds watch parties officially with a few members organizing their own watch parties in the Midway if the DC event was elsewhere. Like most things with our group, this may change in the future.
NK: We’ll have a few backyard tailgates before games this year.
NK: At the moment, just ask to join the Midway Wanderers Facebook group.
We may figure out a more formal process later on as the need arises.
Special thanks to Nachiket Karnik for answering the questionnaire. You can follow Midway Wanderers on Twitter @midwaywanderers.
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