View towards the North Stand as of 9 June 2009 in an England U21 international
|Location||Denbigh, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom|
|Broke ground||17 February 2005|
|Opened||29 November 2007 (first game 18 July 2007)|
|Architect||Populous (then HOK Sport)|
|Main contractors||Buckingham Group Contracting|
|Capacity||30,500 all seated|
|Field dimensions||105 m x 68 m|
|Milton Keynes Dons F.C.|
Stadium mk (initially named as stadium:mk, stylistically stadiummk, and also known locally as "Denbigh Stadium") is a football ground in the Denbigh district of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. Designed by Populous, it has completed phase one construction by civil engineering company Buckingham Group Contracting. It is the home ground of Milton Keynes Dons FC.
The current configuration of the stadium uses only the lower tier, which seats 22,000 spectators. Towards the end of the 2012–2013 season, it is planned that seats will be installed in the partially complete upper-tier which will increase the capacity to 32,000. Also, should it be required, there is the option to increase the capacity of the stadium again to 45,000 with the addition of a third tier, hence the high roof. When complete, the design will comply with UEFA's Elite Stadium specifications and includes a Desso GrassMaster playing surface.
The plans of the complex include an indoor arena, arena:mk, that was to be the home of the Marshall Milton Keynes Lions professional basketball team from 2008. However, the retail developments that would have provided enabling funding have been deferred due to the national economic situation, leaving the Lions searching for an alternative arena.
In addition to association football, the stadium is occasionally host to rugby union. In May 2008, Saracens (who at the time groundshared with Watford at Vicarage Road) played Bristol at stadiummk because Watford needed their ground for a Championship play-off. In 2011, Northampton Saints RFC used the ground for their Heineken Cup quarter and semi final matches because their home ground is too small for major events. Saracens once again visited for their home Aviva Premiership fixture against Northampton Saints on December 30, 2012 while their new stadium at Barnet Copthall was still being built. The stadium will host 3 matches in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The stadium was first proposed in May 2002, when Wimbledon FC received permission to relocate to Milton Keynes from their original home some 60 miles (97 km) away in South London. It was originally planned that the new stadium would be ready for the 2004–05 season, but it was to be another three years after this date before the stadium was opened. In the meantime, Wimbledon had played at the National Hockey Stadium and had been renamed as Milton Keynes Dons.
Initially there were concerns that the size of the stadium may have been too optimistic. Although attendances increased since leaving the National Hockey stadium, the stadium has yet to sell out for Dons' games. The MK Dons average attendance of 10,550 during the 2008–09 League One season remains below half the ground capacity. The MK Dons average home attendance for the first part of the 2009/10 season was ranked 6th out of 24 teams in League One.
Although Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the stadium in November 2007, it hosted its first game on 18 July 2007, a match against a Chelsea XI, which resulted in a 4–3 win for the home side. Later in July an England Legends XI took on a World Legends XI in a match in memory of the late England footballer Alan Ball. In November 2007 the stadium hosted its first FIFA sanctioned international football match when the England Under 21 team hosted their Bulgarian counterparts in a UEFA Euro 2009 qualifier. Since then, the stadium has been used a number of times to host England Under 21 internationals, such as a June 2009 warm-up game for the 2009 Under-21 European Championship against Azerbaijan Under-21's (which England won a resounding 7–0). The stadium was used as a centrepoint for the 40th birthday celebrations of Milton Keynes which took place during 2007.
The stadium also marked another first on 8 May 2008 when it hosted its first rugby union fixture. Guinness Premiership side Saracens entertained Bristol away from their regular Vicarage Road ground, due to Watford F.C. playing at home in the 2008 Championship play-off semi-final.
The South stand of stadiummk is known as the Cowshed by Dons fans, as Milton Keynes is known for its Concrete Cows. This nickname was also used for the home end at the Dons' previous ground in Milton Keynes, the National Hockey Stadium, now demolished.
England 2018 World Cup bid
In December 2009, the English FA awarded 'Candidate Host City' status to Milton Keynes. Had England won the bid, stadiummk would have hosted some games. For this to happen, the stadium capacity would have had to be increased to 44,000. However on 2 December 2010, FIFA decided not to award the World Cup to England.
The Heineken Cup
On 24 January 2011, the Northampton Saints Rugby union club announced that their 2010-11 Heineken Cup quarter final match against Ulster would take place in the stadium, because their Franklin's Gardens ground is too small to meet the minimum 15,000 seats demanded by the organisers.
The Saints had previously indicated that they might play future major games at stadiummk as their proposal to expand Franklin's Gardens using an enabling (ASDA supermarket) development has encountered planning difficulties.
Accordingly, their quarter-final match was played at the stadium on Sunday 10 April 2011 in front of a stadium record crowd of 21,309 supporters who witnessed the Saints (the 'home' side for the day) beat Ulster 23–13. This secured for the Saints a place in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup where they went on to beat USA Perpignan, again at the stadiummk.
Rugby World Cup 2015
On 8 October 2012, the organisers of the Rugby World Cup 2015 announced that the Stadium was one of seventeen to be short-listed for detailed appraisal, leading to the final choice of twelve stadiums to be announced in March 2013
It was officially announced as a venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup on 2 May, and with the venue capacity to expand to 32,000, it will host 3 fixtures.
The stadium is in south central Milton Keynes located in Denbigh, a part of the Bletchley and Fenny Stratford civil parish, near the junction of the A5 and the A421. The nearest railway stations are Bletchley and Fenny Stratford, about 1.3 miles (2.1 km) away each. The Central station, about 2.6 miles (4.2 km) away, has more intercity services.
The nearest railway stations are Bletchley and Fenny Stratford. Both of these are about 1.3 miles (2.1 km) away from the Stadium. The Milton Keynes Central station, about 2.6 miles (4.2 km) away, has more intercity services, with direct trains to London. Trains from Bletchley run to Milton Keynes Central.
- Minutes of Milton Keynes Council See item 5a.
- Youtube animation of the build
- Sports Venue Technology – Wimbledon FC Relocation to Milton Keynes
- The Queen visits Milton Keynes BBC News
- Milton Keynes stadium is on track BBC Sport
- Winkelman can't guarantee arena! – MK Citizen 26 November 2008
- Saracens to play Bristol at stadiummk in Milton Keynes – Saracens
- "Milton Keynes Dons Club Profile". Ciderspace. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Milton Keynes Dons Club Statistics – English League One Football – ESPN Soccernet". ESPN. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Milton Keynes Dons Divisional Attendance". Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Rampant England in seventh heaven". MK Dons Official website. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
- "Ghana 1 Latvia 0: match report". The Daily Telegraph (London). 5 June 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- Milton Keynes in dreamland after being selected for World Cup bid The Times, 17 December 2009
- Northampton forced to move Ulster tie to Milton Keynes – BBC Sport
- Northampton Saints chief considering stadiummk move BBC Sport 27 August 2010
- "Northampton 23–13 Ulster". BBC News.
- Heineken Cup semi-final: Northampton Saints 23–7 Perpignan Northampton's Jim Mallinder wants more after reaching Heineken Cup final – The Guardian, Sunday 1 May 2011
- Stadium mk in the running to host World Cup rugby matches in 2015 – Milton Keynes Citizen, 8 October 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stadium:mk.|
- Stadium:mk's section on Buckingham Group Contracting
- Aerial shot of the site in 1999
- 3D Model of Stadium:MK in Google Earth – Modeled by Sam Johnson