Q: Who designed our new stadium and what other arenas have they done?
A: The KSS Group, who are one of the world’s biggest sports’ venue designers. Brighton’s state-of-the-art Amex stadium and the Al Rayyan arena - which will host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - are just two of their incredible projects.
Others include No.1 Court at Wimbledon and re-development projects at Anfield, Leicester City, Selhurst Park and Twickenham’s rugby union stadium.
Q: Is the design modelled on any other existing stadium?
A: No, it’s bespoke - designed from scratch just for us and solely to fit into the Plough Lane site.
Q: Who are the construction company and which stadiums have they built?
A: Again, we’ve gone for the best. Buckingham Group Contracting are also big players and, like our designers, have worked on showpiece stadiums - like the Amex and parts of Spurs’ new ground at White Hart Lane.
Others include Cardiff City and Reading - plus they’ve just been awarded the contract to rebuild Fulham’s Riverside Stand. Some of you may have also seen Brentford’s new stadium taking shape, by the M4 flyover.
Q: What are the main design features?
A: The main West Stand will have three tiers dominated by eye-catching, glass-fronted executive boxes. The two opposite corners will be unconnected but ultimately can be joined to create a bowl structure.
Other unique features include a pub and fan zone - plus our very own museum and much-expanded club shop.
Q: How will the stadium generate revenue for the club?
A: The hospitality and dining facilities can seat up to 800 guests - then there’s the bar and food concessions, plus the museum and conference rooms.
Q: Will there be any community facilities?
A: We definitely want to become a beacon for the surrounding area. The Dons Trust will be looking to use areas both inside and outside the stadium for community activities.
Q: Are flats and apartments part of the design?
A: No, although there will be a development project on land adjacent to the stadium. This will be run by the Merton Catalyst, a partnership between Galliard Homes and the housing association, Catalyst.
Q:How many executive boxes will there be?
A: 12 in total.
Q: How many will they hold?
A: Between 10 and 20 guests. Thanks to flexible partitioning, the rooms can increase or decrease in size subject to demand.
Q: What facilities will there be for the players?
A: Modern changing rooms with dedicated wardrobe units and an alcove for each player, a massage room - and interview rooms.
Q: What will the boardroom look like?
A: Simple, nothing too flashy - although it will have a direct view overlooking the pitch.
Q: How many offices and staff will there be?
A: There’ll be a large open-plan office on the ground floor of the main West Stand. This will accommodate 25 staff with kitchenette facilities.
Q: If all goes to plan, when will it be ready and what will the opening-day capacity be?
A: The aim is to move in for the opening game of the 2020/21 season. If all goes to plan, the capacity will be 9,000.
Q: What can this increase to - and how much will it cost to expand?
A: The stadium can be expanded to hold 20,000 - at an estimated cost of between £25-£30million - largely by filling in the two corners opposite the West Stand.
Q: How much is it all costing?
A: Approximately £30 million - although not all of this is down to construction. This figure also includes the money we’ve already spent to date. It doesn’t include, however, the financing costs that accrue during construction.
Q: How is the cost broken down?
A: This information is commercially confidential but it includes: the design and construction work performed by Buckingham to deliver the first phase of the stadium; IT; furniture, fixtures and fittings; consultancy fees; a contribution to a controlled parking zone; ramp-up costs for commissioning the new stadium; and a contingency for any unforeseen costs.
Q: Do we need to raise £30million then?
A: No. We will receive £14 million from Merton Catalyst. Plus, we have funds from our own resources - in particular, the sale of The Cherry Red Records Stadium to Chelsea.
Q: Will there be a family section?
Q: Where will visiting fans go?
A: The North Stand.
Q: How many turnstiles will there be?
Q: Can smart cards be used for entry?
A: Yes, they can.
Q: Where will the players’ tunnel and managers’ technical areas be situated?
A: The tunnel will be in the centre of the West Stand, with the technical areas either side.
Q: Where will the club shop be and how big is it?
A: The shop will be in the South West Stand and will cover approximately 100 square metres.
Q: Will there be any posts or columns restricting my view?
A: No, absolutely not. You will be able to see all the action without having to crane your neck round anything.
Q: What will the size of the pitch be?
A: Around 8200 square metres - or 74m x 111m.
Q: How much concrete will be used to build the stadium?
A: An estimated 11,000 metric tonnes.
Q: How much steel work will there be - and cabling?
A: Somewhere in the region of 3,800 tonnes will be used for all the stands’ steel frames and reinforcement. On top of this, there’ll be around 2,800 metres of cabling.
Q: What is the height of the stands?
A: The main West Stand will be five metres high to the lower tier; nine metres to the middle tier and 12.5metres to the upper tier.
Q: What is the overall size of the ground?
A: Around 25,000 square metres.
Q: How many internal staircases will there be - and how many lifts?
A: There’ll be six staircases and four lifts.
Q: How much dirt and earth was removed to clear the site?
A: Around 12,000 cubic metres.
Q: How many piles will have to be drilled under the stadium?
A: There will be 400 just for the West Stand. These will be 600mm and 750mm in diameter and sunk 25 metres into the ground.
Q: How many construction staff will work on building our new home?
A: We estimate a maximum of 170 workers on the site at any one time. However, it’s anticipated that around 1,000 people will have been involved by completion.
Q: What disabled facilities will the stadium include?
A: There will be 100 dedicated spaces for our disabled fans, which is consistent with League guidelines, plus lift access to the upper floors.
Q: Where will press and TV facilities and camera gantries be sited?
A: They’ll be in the West Stand.
Q: Is there any car parking - for how many?
A: The car park spaces are very limited. On matchday the stadium will be equiped with required number of disabled car parking spaces. On non-matchdays more car parking spaces will be available for Confrences and Events based on requirements.
However, the ground will be the most public transport-connected in London, with two tube stations, three train stations and various bus routes on our doorstep.
Q: What are the bus routes and nearest tube/railway stations?
A: Nearby stations include Haydons Road (served by Thameslink – 0.4 miles by foot); Wimbledon Park (District Line – 1.0 mile); Earlsfield (South Western Railway services to Waterloo – 1.0 mile); Tooting Broadway (Northern Line – 1.1 miles) and Wimbledon (District Line, South Western Railway services to Waterloo, Thameslink, Tramlink – 1.2 miles away).
Plough Lane is also served by the 493 bus (services between Richmond and St George’s Hospital).
Q: Can our stadium host other events - like concerts or boxing?
A: Yes, although this is dependent on the granting of licenses and permissions.
Q: Can I get married there!
A: Congratulations - and, yes, you can! What a romantic setting, after all!