Wimbledon AFC have made another step towards a new stadium and a return to the Wimbledon area. The club received good new from the Merton Council, who reacted positive to the plans of the club to build a new stadium in place of the present Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium.
Wimbledon currently play in Kingston upon Thames, a London suburb in the far south-west of the city. They share the small Kingsmeadow, which has a capacity of just under 5,000, with non-league side Kingstonian FC.
Kingsmeadow has been the home of the club since it formed in 2002 after the original Wimbledon FC had moved to Milton Keynes. Their traditional home, Plough Lane, had then already been out of use for over a decade and would soon get demolished.
The club, however, slowly moved up the leagues again, and now plays in the Football League Two. Kingsmeadow has reached its limits and can barely accommodate the increasing crowds, and the club also fancies returning to the area where they once were home.
Wimbledon’s proposal, revealed in August, is to build a new stadium in place of the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium, a stadium used for greyhound races, and which sits only a few hundred metres away from where once stood Plough Lane (now a housing estate).
The capacity of the stadium is planned to be 12 to 15,000 seats, with the option to further expand in the future. It will include significant retail space, a necessity these days for smaller clubs to finance a new stadium.
There are still many more steps to make, but with both the Merton Council and Greyhound Racing Authority having reacted positively, fans can slowly start dreaming of a return to where it all started.
Credits: the above photo comes from Britainfromabove.org.uk.