MK Dons
Stadium MK

Ground No. 136
Visited - Tuesday 9th October 2007
Result - Milton Keynes Dons 3-1 Peterborough United
Competition - Johnstone's Paint Trophy
Attendance - 5087

After their move from the National Hockey Stadium, it meant that MK Dons had left me with another ground to do towards the 92, although with them promising to have built it to the ‘highest of specifications’, it should have been one to look forward to as opposed an inconvenience! That said, whilst I was looking forward to visiting, the moral implications were always nagging away, with their move away from London still fresh in the memory and their former fans still having to work their way up from the bottom of the pyramid to re-attain their league status. Some would argue that the club had to move to survive, those people tend to be idiots, and as seen on my visit to the NHS, then it’s plain to anyone that this isn’t the same club as Wimbledon. Even Winkleman himself doesn’t bother trying to con anyone over it anymore, having handed back Wimbledon FC’s history to the Borough of Merton (no surprise to see that his moral conscience hasn’t persuaded him to hand back the league place they stole yet…), so anyway, the best time to see the ground seemed to be the game which involved giving the least amount of money to them, so with prices reduced to £8 for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Peterborough that was the match chosen. There was even a bonus in store that they had to give 55% of that away to the Football League/Peterborough due to gate sharing rules! A new ground and only £3.60 (minus Peterborough’s travelling costs!!!) to the Franchiser’s, you can’t moan at that!

The journey down to Milton Keynes went fine, going straight from work, the train was direct and I arrived there just after 6pm, quickly changing for a local train to Bletchley, where I set off on the 2 mile walk to the ground, which went by fairly easily.

On first sights, the ground is actually fairly impressive. Apparently there is still building work to be done, so what the finished article will look like remains to be seen, but with the roof standing high above the bowl structure, the steelwork created a gloomy, but impressive silhouette on the horizon. Three sides are the same, with a glossy black brick wall making up the first 10 foot and the steelwork and roof above that, whilst the fourth side had more cladding and the main reception sticking out. At the South end of the ground (behind the ‘cowshed’), there is an exhibition hall, similar to the one at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Going inside, you come in at the top of the lower tier, with the concourse being open and straight out onto the seating. This is a fairly impressive feature, although effectively no different to a normal concourse, just without the wall between the seats. It gives fans the opportunity to see the game whilst getting food/drinks, although unlike mentioned elsewhere, you can’t drink beer in view of the pitch, with there being a separate, enclosed area for drinkers, although annoyingly, that was closed for this evening. The rest of the ground is a bowl like form, although does differ to most other bowls built. Whilst the lower tier is the same on all four sides (large, shallow and dull), the upper tier is a bit different. The North and South ends are both the same, but the West Stand has executive boxes to the rear, and only a single, separate overhanging tier in the middle of the stand. The depth of the East Stand’s second tier also varies, with the central section extending further out than at the two ends. The most notable feature though is that there are actually no seats in the upper tier. No, it’s not a terrace, it’s just that they figured out that they couldn’t hope to fill the lower tier, never mind the top one as well, so the expense of putting seats in was spared, not that they didn’t spend much on the lower ones, with them resembling those at the Emirates Stadium, being large and padded, more reminiscent of a cinema than a football stadium.

Having taken a few pictures, I found a seat to sit in, and the game soon started. Neither side really dominated to begin with, until in the 16th minute Peterborough took the lead with a well taken goal from Aaron McLean putting the visitors ahead. Unfortunately they couldn’t hold on to the advantage, and on 25 minutes the Franchisers equalised through Mark Wright. Worse was to come in the second half when Wright got a second, before ex-Wolves man Colin Cameron rounded off the evening by scoring to make the final score 3-1 to Milton Keynes.

It was a result no one wanted, (except perhaps the scabs in the home end), so I left the ground in a bit of a mood, walking back to Bletchley station before grabbing a drink in Milton Keynes prior to the train home arriving, not getting home until the early hours. 

Overall, whilst the club remain a shameful embarrassment to the integrity of English football, it has to be said that they have a fairly decent new ground. It’s unlikely I’ll return here, but for those completing the 92, there are certainly worse places to go.

Building Dreams for Milton Keynes
(Destroying them for others....)

Rear of the West Stand

Main Entrance to the Ground

Rear of the South Stand and Arena

Rear of the East Stand

Rear of the North Stand

The East Stand

The South Stand

The West Stand

The North Stand

View from the Concourse

The West Stand

The South Stand

The East Stand

Stadium MK Panoramic 1

Stadium MK Panoramic 2

Stadium MK Panoramic 3


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