Sport

AFC Wimbledon: A look into the new Plough Lane stadium

Since their reformation in 2002, AFC Wimbledon had dreamed of returning to playing football in a stadium in Wimbledon.

However, after a string of promotions and moving through countless divisions, Wimbledon fans found themselves supporting a football league team again and as of the last few months, a team who play back in Wimbledon at Plough Lane.

It’s been bittersweet for Wimbledon fans, as the coronavirus pandemic has stopped them visiting the stadium and watching their team.

A site full of heritage and Wimbledon history, with many plans for development, the stadium has a potential for growth.

Taking a closer look at the stadium it is a huge improvement on the previous habitat of the Dons, Kingsmeadow.

A stadium just outside of Kingston town centre, Kingsmeadow served its purpose and for the younger generations of Wimbledon fans, that would have been the place they considered home.

Kingsmeadow had a 4,850 capacity, just over half of the 9,215 that can fit inside the new Plough Lane.

This new capacity gives AFC Wimbledon the chance to bring in new fans from the community, and build an important relationship with those in the surrounding areas.

For those setting their eyes on the stadium for the first time, it gives off a modern, sleek inner-city vibe.

Blocks of flats tightly surround the stadium, and this will make the ground very intimate for those inside and give those playing a real boost.

A yellow ‘THE DONS’ with black highlights, providing a 3D effect, and blue background adorn the East Stand seats.

INSIDE THE STADIUM: Panoramic view of Plough Lane. Shot from the second tier of the West Stand

This is where the family zone will be and should provide interactive entertainment for the younger generations of Dons fans, to add to the spectacle of a home matchday.

Yellow and blue seats make up the rest of the speckled pattern around the ground, and these stands combined all match up nicely to provide a sight that many cannot wait to behold.

The West Stand is the real eye-opener.

A three-tiered stand, with the glass-fronted executive boxes stealing the show gives the stadium a powerful elegance.

It is the tallest stand in the ground and looks fantastic during a fixture under the lights.

There will be a fans zone, which will be for all fans in the ground, meaning the West Stand should have quite the atmosphere before and after games.

Complimenting the fan zone will be the stadium pub and hospitality lounges.

Very similar to the Chemflow End, or Tempest for the older AFC Wimbledon fans, Plough Lane’s South Stand will hold the more ‘vocal’ fans in the ground.

It now has safe standing and will be where the atmosphere should grow from.

Situated behind one of the goals, the South Stand will also give a fantastic view of the pitch.

Away fans will fill up the North Stand, an area which is much larger than the similar provision at Kingsmeadow.

From a financial view, this will be a good way for Wimbledon to make more money, as they will be able to offer visiting fans a larger number of tickets.

Plough Lane is going to be a fantastic day out for both home and away fans, a stadium which not only is aesthetically pleasing but also offers so many different things on a matchday.

Overall, the thought of a fully packed first home game at Plough Lane is enough to bring a tear to a Wimbledon fans eye.

Actually seeing it, on the other hand, will be awe-inspiring for many years to come and in light of all the news in football recently, this just highlights how important fans are to the beautiful game.

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