Sun 06 February 2022 | 8:30

Top Facts about Stadium MK, A stadium where dreams come true

Football is bound to stadiums and each one of these stadiums has its own story. Today, in Sportmob's Top Facts about Stadium MK we will discover every interesting fact about this stadium.

Stadium MK is a football stadium in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. It is located in the Denbigh section of Bletchley and is the home field of EFL League One side Milton Keynes Dons and FA. The stadium was designed by Populous and built in 2007.

MK stadium has two tiers with a total capacity of 30,500 people as of May 2015. Should it be necessary, the stadium's capacity may be increased to 45,000 with the building of a third deck, which explains the high ceiling. The design will meet UEFA's Elite Stadium requirements and will have a Desso GrassMaster playing surface. However, this is not all the information you'll get in our

top facts about Stadium MK!

Here we go! Top Facts about Stadium MK

Arena MK which is now known as The Marshall Arena was to be the home of the Milton Keynes Lions professional basketball team, according to the complex's designs. However, due to a lack of funds, the retail developments that would have given enabling cash were postponed, leaving the Lions without a home.

The Lions were unable to find a venue inside

Milton Keynes

following the end of the 2011–12 season, forcing them to relocate to the Copper Box in the south. In addition to association football, the stadium holds rugby union matches on occasion.

The first time this happened was in May 2008, when Saracens who shared Vicarage Road with Watford at the time played Bristol at Stadium MK because


required their stadium for a Championship play-off. Because their own ground is too small for important games, Northampton Saints RFC used the ground for their Heineken Cup quarter and semi-final matches in 2011.

During the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the stadium hosted three matches. Knowing all this information, let's start the Top facts about Stadium MK with some quick facts.

Stadium MK basic info

  • Full name:

    Stadium MK

  • Location:

    Denbigh, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, England

  • Public transit:

    National Rail Bletchley, National Rail Milton Keynes Central

  • Owner

    : Inter MK

  • Capacity

    : 30,500 all seated

  • Record attendance

    : 30,048 Rugby World Cup 2015 Fiji vs Uruguay

  • Field size

    : 105 m x 68 m

  • Surface

    : Desso GrassMaster

  • Construction

    : Broke ground 17 February 2005 Built 2007

  • Opened

    : 29 November 2007

  • first game

    : 18 July 2007

  • Main contractors:

    Buckingham Group Contracting

Stadium MK Construction

Let's start our






with the story of its construction. Inter MK and the Milton Keynes Stadium Consortium were led by Pete Winkelman, who later became chairman of Milton Keynes Dons F.C. The Milton Keynes Development Corporation envisioned a stadium capable of supporting a top-flight football team from the beginning of Milton Keynes as a new town, which was designated in 1967.

The Milton Keynes Stadium Consortium, or "Stadium MK," led by Pete Winkelman and his business Inter MK Group, first suggested what would become Stadium MK in 2000. A 30,000-capacity football stadium, a 150,000-square-foot  Asda hypermarket, an IKEA store, a hotel, a conference center, and a retail park were all proposed by this group in southern Milton Keynes suburb of Denbigh North.

The plan to build a stadium of this size was complicated by the fact that Milton Keynes had no professional football club and that the town's highest-ranked team, Milton Keynes City-based in Wolverton in northern Milton Keynes and formerly known as Mercedes-Benz F.C. played in the Spartan South Midlands League, which was four divisions below the Football League. The developers couldn't justify constructing such a stadium for such a small club.

In 1993, Winkelman, a former CBS Records executive and music promoter, relocated to Milton Keynes from London. He said Milton Keynes had a large untapped football fanbase a "football frenzy waiting to erupt," he stated.

Critics of this claim pointed to the apparent lack of public interest in Milton Keynes City and other local non-League clubs, arguing that residents of Milton Keynes who were specifically interested in League football already had plenty of options, with

Luton Town

, Northampton Town, and Rushden & Diamonds all being within 25 miles (40 km).

Winkelman was the only individual in Milton Keynes who was openly involved with the initiative; his financial backers, Asda a Walmart company, and Ikea remained completely anonymous. Let's talk about an interesting story in the next part of our Top facts about Stadium MK.

Stadium MK is a Trojan!

Opponents claimed that the stadium was a "Trojan Horse" included in the blueprint to get around planning rules, and that, despite the consortium's claims that the larger development enabled the stadium's construction, the opposite was true consortium, Winkelman's they claimed, had to put a professional team in place right away to justify the ground so the development could get planning permission.

The Guardian's David Conn agreed with this judgment. After interviewing Winkelman, Conn summarized in a 2012 essay, "The whole project was indeed dependent on Asda and Ikea." "Winkelman gained options to buy the site from its three owners, including the council, after seeing the possibility to create a stadium Milton Keynes lacked and realizing Asda did not have a store in the area.

If Asda had not given the council the advantage of building the stadium, it would not have been awarded planning approval for a massive out-of-town superstore. A-League club would move up, permission would be granted, and Winkelman would exercise his option to buy the entire parcel of property, sell it to Asda and IKEA for a much higher price, and utilize the difference to construct the stadium." Conn later described it as a "once-in-a-lifetime deal."

Wimbledon F.C and the MK Stadium

this part of Sportmob's Top facts about Stadium MK has dedicated part of this stadium's history that a few people know about it. Several Football League clubs, including Luton Town,

Crystal Palace

, Barnet, Queens Park Rangers, and Wimbledon F.C., were made this concept by the consortium beginning in 2000. After the hiring of a new chairman, Charles Koppel, in January 2001, Wimbledon F.C., who had been ground-sharing at Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park ground since 1991, embraced the Milton Keynes plan.

According to Koppel, such action was required to prevent Wimbledon F.C. from going out of business.


F.C.'s intention to relocate was announced in a letter to the Football League on August 2, 2001, stating that Wimbledon had already signed an agreement to relocate and intended to be playing home games at a newly built stadium in Milton Keynes by the start of the 2003–04 season, "subject to the necessary planning and regulatory consents being obtained."

The proposed relocation was met with widespread opposition, and Wimbledon's proposed change was overwhelmingly rejected by the League board in August 2001. Koppel filed an appeal, which resulted in a Football Association (FA) arbitration hearing and the FA's appointment of a three-man independent commission to render a final and binding judgment in May 2002. The League and FA expressed disagreement, but the commissioners voted two to one in favor.

Wimbledon F.C. planned to move to Milton Keynes right once, but because the new stadium had not yet been finished, they would have to find a temporary home in the town first. The first plan, to begin the 2002–03 season at the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes, was scrapped because it could not match Football League stadium requirements.

While other interim options were considered—Winkelman recommended converting the National Bowl music venue—Wimbledon F.C. began the season at Selhurst Park with the goal of moving to MK by Christmas 2002.

In June 2002, a group of Wimbledon F.C. supporters reacted by forming AFC Wimbledon, to which the vast majority of Wimbledon F.C. supporters switched allegiance. Wimbledon F.C. remained in south London at the end of the 2002–03 season when arranging a temporary stadium in Milton Keynes proved challenging.

From the start of the 2003–04 season until the new stadium was finished, Koppel revealed a proposal to transform the National Hockey Stadium into a football stadium. Wimbledon F.C. went into receivership in June 2003. Following the club's failure to meet a deadline to invest in upgrades to the Hockey Stadium, there was uncertainty as to whether Wimbledon F.C. would relocate and, if so, where they would play.

 A return to Selhurst Park was planned by the administration. With the move in jeopardy and the club on the verge of bankruptcy, Winkelman made "the life-defining decision," as Conn put it, "of taking it on himself." He got money from his consortium to pay the players' salaries, keep the club running, and pay for the necessary repairs to the National Hockey Stadium so it could host League football games.

Wimbledon F.C. played their first match in Milton Keynes in September 2003, after hosting the first few home matches of the 2003–04 season at Selhurst Park. In March 2004, a business voluntary arrangement was put in place under which Winkelman's group would pull Wimbledon F.C. out of administration through a holding company called MK Dons, according to reports.

If the takeover was not finalized by July 31, the Football League threatened to remove the club. In late June 2004, Winkelman's Inter MK Group took Wimbledon F.C. out of administration and announced modifications to its name, emblem, and colors. Milton Keynes Dons F.C. was the new name (commonly shortened to MK Dons).

While the development in Denbigh, including the new ground, was underway, the Milton Keynes Dons continued to play at the National Hockey Stadium. Inter MK received £35 million for their share of the site, while IKEA received £24 million.

The stadium's foundation was laid in February 2005. MK Dons stated a goal of playing at the new stadium by January 2007; in February 2007, they altered their proposal to a 22,000-seater stadium that would be completed in July of that year, with the option of expanding to 32,000. (it had originally been intended to seat 30,000). In July 2007, the new stadium, Stadium MK, staged its debut match. It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II four months later, on November 29, 2007.

Stadium MK Capacity

Despite an improvement in attendance after departing the National Hockey Stadium, the MK Dons' average attendance of 10,550 in League One for the 2008–09 season was still less than half of the stadium's capacity. For the first half of the 2009–10 season, MK Dons' average home attendance was rated 6th out of 24 teams in League One.

The average attendance for the 2012–13 season was 8,612; 9,047 for the 2013–14 season; and 13,158 for the 2015–16 season. It was 10,306 in 2016–17. In a League One match on March 29, 2014, Wolverhampton Wanderers set a new attendance record with an away crowd of 8,943 fans. The match drew a total of 20,516 spectators.

On September 25, 2019, a crowd of 28,521 witnessed MK Dons lose 2–0 to


in the EFL Cup 3rd Round, setting a new record for a football match at Stadium MK. The previous record of 26,969 who witnessed a stunning historic 4–0 triumph against Manchester United in the second round on 26 August 2014 was eclipsed on 31 January 2016 when a crowd of 28,127 witnessed Milton Keynes Dons' 5–1 defeat in the FA Cup fourth round by



On October 6, 2015, Stadium MK hosted the Rugby World Cup match between Uruguay and Fiji, which set a new attendance record of 30,043. In Football League One, a record attendance of 21,545 was set against Bolton Wanderers on February 4, 2017.

Stadium MK games to remember

The National Hockey Stadium was the club's initial home, and it was temporarily transformed to football for the duration of the club's stay. In May 2007, their lease on this property expired. The club's new 22,000-seater stadium hosted its maiden game on July 18, 2007, a restricted-entry match versus a young Chelsea XI. The Queen officially opened the stadium on November 29, 2007.

All of the amenities built within the stadium are designed for the advantage of the Dons, who are the stadium's principal tenant and most frequent user. Although Queen Elizabeth II formally opened the stadium in November 2007, it staged its inaugural game on July 18, 2007, a 4–3 triumph for the home team against a Chelsea XI. In a match dedicated to the late England footballer Alan Ball, an England Legends XI took on a World Legends XI later in July.

Stadium MK International games

Let's keep Top facts about Stadium Mk going with some info about international games held there. Two England under-21 internationals have been held there. On November 16, 2007, the first match was a 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 3 encounter versus Bulgaria's under-21s.

With 20,222 in attendance, the hosts defeated the visitors 2–0, with Mark Noble scoring twice (on the tenth and seventeenth minutes) and James Milner scoring on the twenty-sixth minute. The other was a 31 March 2009 international friendly versus Azerbaijan's under-21s. With 12,020 in attendance, the hosts smashed the visitors 7–0, with Kieran Gibbs scoring twice, Michael Mancienne, Craig Gardner, and Jack Rodwell each scoring once, as well as own goals from Elcin Sadiqov and Elvin Mammadov.

The stadium held a full international friendly on June 5, 2010, with Ghana defeating Latvia 1–0 in their final warm-up match before the World Cup in South Africa. The bids for the FIFA World Cups in 2018 and 2022 were submitted by England.

Milton Keynes was designated as a 'Candidate Host City' by the Football Association in December 2009. Stadium MK would have hosted several games if England had won the bid. The stadium's capacity would have to be increased to 44,000 for this to happen. However, on December 2, 2010, FIFA decided that England would not be awarded the World Cup.

Tottenham story

Tottenham Hotspur were rumoured to be in talks with MK Dons in late 2014 about a temporary groundshare at Stadium MK for a season while Spurs' White Hart Lane ground was being renovated. According to claims in the press, Tottenham proposed playing the most of their home matches in MK and only a few at Wembley Stadium.

Spurs fans were largely opposed to the idea of playing home games in Milton Keynes, even if only temporarily. The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust stated in September 2014 that such an arrangement would cause "severe concerns." Two months later, a London Evening Standard poll of 206 Tottenham fans found that 71 (34%) would attend home matches at Stadium MK if the club played there on a temporary basis, while 135 (66%) would not.

In July 2015,

Premier League

chief executive Richard Scudamore stated that the Premier League would have no objection to Tottenham temporarily sharing a ground with MK Dons or Chelsea at Wembley, but that Tottenham would not be allowed to play home matches at more than one location in the same season to protect "the integrity of the competition."

Two months later, Martin Glenn, the FA's chief executive, stated that he welcomed the notion of clubs playing at Wembley while their stadiums were being refurbished. Spurs eventually played Watford in front of 23,650 fans at Stadium MK, a match that was supported by former MK Dons player and Milton Keynes resident

Dele Alli


Rugby?! Yes!

Due to Watford F.C. playing at home in the 2008 Championship play-off semi-final, Saracens were the first club to host a Premiership rugby match at Stadium MK when Bristol Rugby visited on 10 May 2008, away from their regular Vicarage Road field.

Richard Hill, the 2003 Rugby World Cup winner, made his 288th and final appearance for the men in black on this major platform. Hill's 15-year club career ended on a high note thanks to a last-minute try from Kameli Ratuvou.

Saracens played Northampton Saints for a regular season encounter at Stadium MK on December 30, 2012, while their new stadium at Barnet Copthall was still under construction. In April 2015, the Saints played Saracens in front of a record 27,411 fans in a Premiership match that also served as a warm-up for the stadium's hosting of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Between the 2014–15 and 2016–17 seasons, Northampton played at Stadium MK on a regular basis, with the Saints hosting one game per season. The European Rugby Champions Cup is held every two years throughout Europe.

Northampton Saints Rugby Union club stated on January 24, 2011, that their 2010–11 Heineken Cup quarter final match against Ulster would be held at the stadium since their Franklin's Gardens venue is too small to meet the organisers' minimum 15,000 seat requirement.

The Saints had previously stated that they might play future key games at Stadium MK due to planning issues with their desire to expand Franklin's Gardens utilizing an enabling (ASDA supermarket) development.

As a result, their quarter-final match was held at the stadium on Sunday, April 10, 2011, in front of a (then) stadium record crowd of 21,309 fans, who saw the Saints (the 'home' team for the day) defeat Ulster 23–13. This earned the Saints a spot in the Heineken Cup semi-finals, where they defeated USA Perpignan once more at Stadium MK.

Northampton Saints faced Munster in their last 2011–12 Heineken Cup pool match at Stadium MK on January 21, 2012. Although the Saints were trounced 36–51, the game set a new stadium attendance record of 22,220.

The stadium was one of 17 short-listed for comprehensive evaluation by the 2015 Rugby World Cup organizers on October 8, 2012, resulting to a final pick of 12 stadiums being announced in March 2013. On 2 May, it was officially announced as a venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and it hosted three matches with a capacity of 32,000 spectators.

The first was a Pool D match between France and Canada on October 1, 2015, which France won 41–18 in front of a crowd of 28,145. The second was a Pool B match two days later between Samoa and Japan, which Japan won 26–5 in front of 29,019 spectators. Three days later, a Pool A match between Fiji and Uruguay was held, with Fiji winning 47–15 and setting a new stadium attendance record of 30,048.

Other events and Name of stands

The stadium served as the focal point for Milton Keynes' 40th birthday celebrations, which took place in 2007. Annual conventions of the Jehovah's Witnesses have also been held in the stadium. Between 2009 and 2013, the sci-fi convention Collectormania was hosted here several times.

Dons fans refer to the South Stand at Stadium MK as the Cowshed, as Milton Keynes is famed for its Concrete Cows. The home end of the Dons' old venue in Milton Keynes, the National Hockey Stadium, was also known as this nickname.

After AFC Wimbledon fans announced a boycott of the first match between the two teams in 2012, they changed their minds and sold out the away ticket allocation by bringing more than 3,000 fans to the game, the North stand became known as "The Boycott End." The position of the side stands in relation to the pitch is known. Sportmob's

Top facts about Stadium MK

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