A nice stadium but a little disorganised.
Having survived a 90 min journey that included both the M25 and the M1 on a Friday evening I arrived at Stadium MK. The first issue was finding the car park I’d pre-paid £7 for. A long queue of traffic for the stadium car parks meant I aborted the search and just parked in one of the shopping centre spaces.
Ticket price: £10
Refreshments bought: One tea (£2)
Star Player: Gboly Ariyibi (MK Dons winger)
All ticket collections and sales were being carried out from the club shop and two separate but lengthy queues had already developed when I found it. I joined the longer one to collect my ticket. After a few mins in the queue I did consider joining the shorter sales queue and shelling out another £10 to get in on time but it didn’t seem to be moving any faster. Just as I heard the stadium PA announce the entrance of the players on the pitch I reached the front of the queue and got my ticket.
I only missed three minutes of the game and even managed to grab a programme. It was a large A4 sized publication that had been produced especially for MK Dons’ two pre-season home games. Despite looking like something you’d get at Wembley it did actually contain some interesting content. The map showing the locations and length of journeys for the season ahead was particularly useful for regular fans and there was also an article about a breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons that live in the stadium.
Stadium MK has a concourse running all the way around it with lots of refreshment stands, a few bars and toilets. Queues for food and drink weren't to huge, certainly less than the ticket queue, but a lot of people seemed to be watching the game from the concourse. They were likely avoiding the rain as the roof covered all but the front 10-12 rows of seats.
There are good views from the upholstered seats in all areas of the Stadium and you are close to the pitch. A quick look at the programme for last season’s results showed that MK Dons never sell out, so you’d always have a good choice of where to sit.
The game was another typical pre-season affair with Leicester, missing most of their stars, having more quality but the home side showing more endeavour. Towards the end of the game MK Dons were banging on the door pretty firmly but the winning goal just eluded them. American Gboly Ariyibi was the standout player on the wing for the Dons and created a few good chances towards the end.
Another disappointing game as well as some fairly lackluster ticketing put a dampener on the overall experience of Stadium MK but it was a nice stadium and had everything you’d need as well as good views.