Plough Lane: AFC Wimbledon

Plough Ln, London SW17 0NR

AFC Wimbledon is a club with a more interesting history than most, having been formed by supporters of the old Wimbledon FC in 2002 after their club was relocated 60 miles north to Milton Keynes, becoming MK Dons. The new Plough Lane is the most recent instalment of that story.

Only opening in November 2020, it is one of the newest stadiums in the country, however, it is considered the true spiritual home of the club by fans, since Wimbledon F.C played their games at the original Plough Lane stadium back in 1912 right up until 1991. The team were technically homeless for a while after that, although the original Plough Lane was still used by the reserve team, but was finally demolished in 2002.

Construction of the new Plough Lane broke ground in 2018, located just a few hundred yards from the original site and taking around 3 years to complete; and although it retains the Plough Lane name, the stadium is sponsored by Cherry Red Records who have bought the naming rights. This is a long term deal between Cherry Red and the club that has existed for over 20 years.

And so AFC Wimbledon have in many ways come home to the borough of Merton, to almost exactly the same spot as those who went before them.

Stats

Plough Lane Stats
Year Opened2020
Capacity9,215
Average Attendance4,073
Record Attendance9,215 (AFC Wimbledon 3-3 Bolton Wanderers (14/8/21))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
OwnerAFC Wimbledon
SponsorCherry Red Records
Clubs HostedAFC Wimbledon
First FixtureAFC Wimbledon 2-2 Doncaster Rovers (03/11/20)
AFC Wimbledon Stats
Year Founded2002
NicknameThe Dons, The Wombles
Club MascotHaydon the Womble
RivalsMK Dons, Crawley Town, Carshalton Athletic, Tooting & Mitcham United, Hampton & Richmond
Previous StadiumsKingsmeadow
KitBlue (Home) / Yellow (Away) / Red (Third)
Training GroundKing's College Sports Ground
Shirt SponsorFootball Manager
Team OwnerThe Dons Trust
Record GoalscorerKevin Cooper (104)
Record AppearancesSam Hatton (241)

Plough Lane Photos

Plough Lane Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Being a brand new stadium, the design allows for seating right the way around the stadium in the more modern bowl style, with a total capacity of 9,215. Seating is all single story so there is the potential to build upwards in the future if the club do well.

The four stands all have sponsorship, with the Ry Stand towards the East holding 2,391 fans, situated opposite the Cappagh stand which is considered the main stand, with 4,267 seats and housing the club offices and hospitality areas. The North stand is known as The Cherry Red Records end and has a capacity of 1,465, while the South stand has the smallest capacity at 1,092 and includes a safe standing terrace.

AFC Wimbledon Ticket Prices

There are no difficult systems to figure out when buying tickets to watch games at Plough Lane. The only thing that will affect the price you pay for your ticket is where you want to sit and your age. That said, you can buy memberships which will reduce prices.

We have below the cheapest and most expensive tickets for adults an concessions who are not members:

  • Adults: £24.00 - £32.00
  • Concessions: £15.00 - £22.00

How To Get AFC Wimbledon Tickets

AFC Wimbledon fans can get tickets online, by post, or in person from the ticket office. They are not usually available over the phone, and you will need to register to buy online.

Where to Buy

Getting To Plough Lane

South West London isn't exactly difficult to get to, so the options in terms of transport are many.

Car - This is London, so driving isn't advised unless you want your stress levels to go through the roof. If you are determined to drive then the A24 is your best bet from the South, those coming from North of London can make their own best judgements on the day.

Train - Haydon's Road is the closest train station, but there will be more frequent options to nearby Wimbledon which is just a 30 walk from the stadium.

Taxi - A black cab won't be cheap wherever you get it from, and although cheaper options are available via phone apps a train, tram, bus, or tube will be cheaper.

Tube - Wimbledon (District Line) or Tooting Bec (Northern Line) are your best bets here, being equidistant from the stadium. However, the Northern line is probably faster and more reliable.

Bus - The 493, 44, 77, and 270 all stop very close to the station, so start your research with them.

Parking Near Plough Lane

There is no parking on site unless you have specific access requirements in which case you should contact the club. There are no car parks especially close to the ground either, and while you could take your chances on residential streets, it really would be easier to use public transport.

Useful Resources

Plough Lane Hotels

You're not going to struggle for somewhere to stay in London, although you may struggle with some of the prices! There are a few of our favourite options for those on different budgets below:

Pelican London Hotel and Residence - £64+

203 Blackshaw Road, London, England, SW17 0BZ
For a no frills hotel this place is very nice indeed - some of the rooms even have cooking facilities. You get free wifi and all of the rooms are soundproofed too. More details.

The Rose and Crown - £135+

55 High Street, Wimbledon Village, London, England, SW19 5BA
A more upmarket option would be the Rose and Crown, which is above a posh pub, so food and drink is no problem here. The wifi is free, the rooms air conditioned, and although it's a 30 min walk to the stadium it's a lovely area in which to stay. More details.

The Antoinette Hotel Wimbledon - £119+

249 - 263 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London, England, SW19 1SD
On site parking is a big bonus in London, and the Antoinette offers that alongside free wifi, a bar, breakfast, and room service. It also has meeting and conferencing facilities so you can imagine the sort of standard you can expect. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Plough Lane

Wimbledon was the favourite watering hole of Oliver Reed, so it's safe to say there are some very well used drinking establishments in the area. We would go to one of these three:

Leather Bottle

The Rainbow School, 538 Garratt Ln, London SW17 0NY (020 8946 2309)
A 300 year old boozer with traditional decor but a very modern twist. The beer garden is massive and they often have beach games, and the food is out of this world. It's a good one for anyone who wants more than a simply pint, although they sell those too of course.

The Woodman

222 Durnsford Rd, London SW19 8DR (020 8286 4158)
Just outside Wimbledon Park station, the Woodman is traditional yet trendy and shows sport on flat screen TVs. IPAs are something of a speciality and their menu includes a lot of comfort food options with massive portions.

The Pig and Whistle

481 Merton Rd, London SW18 5LD (020 8874 1061)
A little bit of everything here, the Pig and Whistle is a local pub that is quirky and welcoming, selling great food and drinks especially cask ales. It's about a 20 minute walk from the stadium so you should be able to get a seat on match days.

Facilities

Plough Lane might host a club playing in League One, but their facilities are premier. You can get food and drink from a variety of vendors, the rest rooms are brand new, and the seating is all covered to protect from all but the wildest of weather.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.50
  • Cup of tea: 2.00

Hospitality

Hospitality packages are aimed at businesses rather than individuals at Plough Lane, so most options require long term commitments, but there are a few tickets held back of anyone wanting to treat themselves to a one off special matchday occasion.

There are four chic lounges at the stadium as well as corporate boxes. You can expect VIP treatment including a champagne reception, complimentary half time refreshments, premium seats with improved comfort, a two, four or five course meal, fork buffet and match day programme, depending on which package you go for. You also get access to the Networking Bar where all hospitality customers can grab a drink in a relaxed atmosphere and do some mingling.

Private Hire

Being a brand new venue, Plough Lane is set up perfectly to host a multitude of corporate or private events and can cater to between 10 and 400 guests thanks to its range of suites and boxes.

The facilities are state of the art and Elior UK provide the catering so it will be hard to find better.

Stadium Tours & Museum

There are no tours of Plough Lane available at present, at least not regularly, but they may well start to include them in hospitality packages etc. as time moves on. This page will be updated as soon as there is news on this front.

About AFC Wimbledon

The gates to the site formerly housing Wimbledon Football Club's traditional home stadium, Plough Lane. - By Anonymous AFC Wimbledon supporter (Flickr: Womble Til I Die Gates) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The club is one of the new generation of football clubs, like FC United of Manchester, formed in reaction to the goings on at bigger and more famous clubs. In this particular instance AFC Wimbledon was formed by a Wimbledon supporter disgusted by the decision of an FA panel to allow the club to relocate to Milton Keynes. Though AFC Wimbledon has no official connection to the Wimbledon of Vinnie Jones and Lawrie Sanchez, the supporters consider it to be a spiritual successor to the Dons of old.

They did eventually see their club playing back where they felt it belonged, with the new Plough Lane opening in 2020 just 200 yards from the site of the original stadium.

The Wombles, as they are sometimes known, currently hold the record for the longest unbeaten run of games in senior football in England. They went 78 league games without losing between February of 2003 and December of 2004. They are also the first club that was formed in the 21st century to become a Football League club. Not bad considering the club didn’t even exist at the turn of the millennium!

Plough Lane History

sarflondondunc, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The history of Plough Lane can be told in two parts, because there have actually been two different stadiums with the same name and almost on the exact same site too.

The original stadium was used by Wimbledon FC from 1912 until 1991, when the Taylor Report forced the club to look for a new ground. They played at Selhurst park in the interim, but the search took so long that in the end the club moved all the way to Milton Keynes, infuriating fans who left the club in droves and eventually set up their own side, AFC Wimbledon. Plough Lane had been used by Wimbledon and Crystal Palace reserves until 1998, but after that the ground was sold for development to Safeway.

Planning for the proposed supermarket was rejected however, and so the ground lay abandoned for a number of years before the stadium was eventually demolished in 2002 and private housing was built in its' place. The ghost of Wimbledon FC is still present there though, as the development is known as Reynolds Gate - named after Reynolds, one of Wimbledon's greatest ever players.

Fast forward 20 years and AFC Wimbledon are now an established team in their own right, playing at Kingsmeadow Stadium, and Wimbledon FC had been renamed the MK Dons, to represent their new location.

AFC's new stadium was designed by KSS and built by the Buckingham Group between 2019 and 2020, with planning granted by Merton council back in 2015. The location is just 200 yards east of the original stadium, delighting fans who had waited 30 years for their club to come home. An agreement for rugby league side the London Broncos to share the ground was declared in 2021.

The first football game took place at the new ground in November 2020, with AFC Wimbledon drawing 2-2 with Doncaster Rovers, although Wimbledon managed to score the first goal in their new home. It took them almost a year to sell the ground out, with a 100% capacity crowd watching a 3-3 draw with Bolton Wanderers in August 2021.

Future Developments

Given that Plough Lane only saw its first competitive football match in November 2020 it is unlikely to be getting developed in the immediate future. If and when AFC Wimbledon establish themselves in the upper leagues plans will n doubt be proposed for expansion, but that is a long way off.

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