EFL League One club AFC Wimbledon have finally returned to their spiritual home at Plough Lane in south London.
The club’s new stadium hosted its first match this week. The 9,300 capacity stadium was designed by KSS and built by Buckingham Group. It is expandable to 20,000 capacity.
AFC Wimbledon returned to Plough Lane 18 years after starting life in the ninth tier of English football. Plough Lane was home to Wimbledon FC from 1912 to 1991 before the club moved to Milton Keynes.
The West Stand has four floors/three tiers with media facilities and 12 glass-fronted executive boxes looking down on to the pitch.
The players’ tunnel leads out from the centre of the stand, with the managers’ technical areas either side.
There are food and drink concessions and a pub which will physically open up on match days and become an integral part of the fan zone. The pub will also open 7-days a week, which the local community can use during normal licensing hours.
The stadium will include the largest conferencing suite in the borough, capable of seating 500 guests and a museum charting the history of the club with tours available for the wider community.
KSS director Nick Marshall said:
KSS has had a long relationship with AFC Wimbledon and assisted the club in compliance and upgrade works at Kingsmeadow and we are delighted to be the architect that has helped in their historic return to Plough Lane.
AFC Wimbledon manager Glyn Hodges said before the first match:
We’ve had this day in the back of our minds for ages. All I can say is that when you come here and you see what has been achieved you are proud of the supporters. We are lucky to play in a stadium like this and it’s all down to them. We understand all the hard work that has gone on and we can’t thank them enough.
Image courtesy of AFC Wimbledon, KSS