Doncaster Rovers will be first visiting team to play at new ground of League One rivals

Doncaster Rovers will be the first visiting team to play at AFC Wimbledon’s new Plough Lane home, it has been confirmed.

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 3:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 3:50 pm

The Dons have confirmed their clash against Rovers on November 3 is planned in as the first fixture for the club’s return to Plough Lane after a 29-year absence.

Dons chief executive Joe Palmer said: “If all goes to plan, the Doncaster game will mark a real milestone.

"Not only will we be opening the doors on our brand-new home, we will also be witnessing the start of a brand-new era for our club.”

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An artist's impression of the under construction Plough Lane stadium of AFC Wimbledon

The majority of the construction work on the stadium is due to be completed by October 25 but test events will take place over the following week, with the game against Rovers set to mark the official opening for a competitive fixture.

Wimbledon are currently playing their games at Queens Park Rangers’ Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, having left Kingsmeadow at the end of last season.

The Dons departed their original Plough Lane home in 1991 after it was deemed too expensive to carry out the necessary redevelopment work ordered by the Taylor Report which insists all top flight stadia be made all-seater in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster.

Wimbledon entered a ground-share agreement with Crystal Palace which began as a temporary measure but lasted for 12 years until the club was controversially purchased and moved to Milton Keynes.

Since the formation of AFC Wimbledon in 2002 there has been a desire to return to the Merton area of London, and specifically Plough Lane. Planning permission for the new gtround on the site of Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium – a few hundred yards from their previous home – was agreed in 2015.

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