It’s a real tour de force – an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek you’ve been waiting 30 years to see!
For the first time ever, we are able to show you inside all the areas of our new Plough Lane stadium that you’ve not yet had the chance to see.
Covid slammed the doors on what we could safely access but now lockdown has eased, our chief executive Joe Palmer was finally able to escort us along the corridors and hallways we’ll be using next season.
Joe’s walkabout comes just over 30 years since we played our very last game at our original Plough Lane ground.
After walking up the exterior steps, through the main entrance and along the West Stand first-floor concourse, Joe shows us where fans will be able to get their food and beverages.
Then, he heads down to our unique bar area with Dons Trust co-chair Xavier Wiggins. OK, it’s not kitted out yet – but make no mistake, this is going to be the heartbeat of our new home.
“We are in discussions right now with three groups on some very exciting proposals,” Joe confides. “We could have kitted it out on a basic level but we want to create something that is special, something fans will feel proud and excited about.”
All our home supporters will be able to meet and mingle here, no matter where their seats are in the main ground.
“There’ll be a main bar, tables, seating - maybe some booth seating – and TV screens for fans to watch football,” continued Joe. “We’ll also be able to stage lots of different events on non-match days – or people can simply come here during the week and pop in for a drink with their mates.”
Joe then shows Xavier the exact spot where he’ll be roaring on The Dons from the South Stand’s innovative safe-standing terraces.
“It took us eight months of lobbying to get the authorities to let us have this,” Joe explains. “So many of our fans wanted to physically stand and we are one of the very few clubs in the country to have this facility.”
After taking us through the cavernous club shop, Joe heads along the main hospitality corridor that leads to our executive boxes and plush lounges. From here we are treated to a breath-taking view of the pitch before heading off to our exhilarating main events space – currently being used for an NHS Covid vaccination centre.
“This is the catalyst of what we want to do and how we can be different as a club,” says Joe. “On match days, this is where our Silver and Silver-Plus guests will get their buffet service.
“But there will also be a networking area under the mezzanine floor so absolutely all our hospitality guests can mix together.
“On non-match days, the space can be used for a whole variety of different events. It can hold 500 people for a sit-down gala dinner, for example, or we can accommodate 750 for a conference. There’s even an enormous high-definition screen that measures five metres by three metres! That really is a magnificent piece of equipment to watch football or maybe play Xbox.
“It’s a really wonderful space for us to have, the biggest in the borough and one of the biggest in south-west London.”
Finally, Joe drops down to another jewel in the crown – the players’ dressing rooms. Here you can see the individual booths where our heroes will get ready for matches – and the motivational words and messages our Head Coach Mark Robinson wants them to absorb before they head out on to the pitch.
In fact, as they leave the dressing room, one message stands out loud and proud: “To successfully continue the greatest story in football.”
Says it all really…
Click on the link below to watch the video.