Image courtesy of zapsportz.com
Image courtesy of zapsportz.com

Stadium MK has a capacity of 30,500 seats and consists of two tiers around the ground.  However, for the match between Mk Dons and Brighton, and indeed many games this season, the stadium has been far from full.  21,345 people attended the match against Brighton, including a magnificent away following of 7,000 Brighton & Hove Albion fans, leaving over 10,000 seats, and much of the upper tier, empty.  This was slightly disconcerting to look at as, as you were looking around the ground, you could see whole blocks of empty seats.  The fans who did attend the match were fairly quiet, although it could be argued that it would e very difficult to create a good atmosphere in a ground with so many empty seats.

However disappointing the turnout was, the ground itself was very nice.  It was evident that the stadium was very modern, with three big screens showing replays that I could see from my seat.  The seats themselves were also very comfortable, made of leather with some leg room between each seat and the one in front.  There was food and drink available in the away end from a range of bars, hot dog stands, and non-alcoholic food and drink stands, meaning that queues were not too long and that fans were able to stay refreshed throughout the match.  The stewards in the away end seemed very reasonable and lenient, possible a bit too much so, as an away fan let off a flare and no action was taken by the stewards.

The match was a special family day, so tickets were on offer at reduced prices at £12 for adults and just £1 for under 18s.  The offer seemed to work, as the attendance was a record for a league game at Stadium MK.  The ground was very easy to access by train, with there being three stations by which the ground could be accessed.  The easiest station was Bletchley, which was a 20 minute walk from the ground, with a bus service to the ground as well.  The one negative thing was the lack of service between Clapham Junction and Milton Keynes, with there only being one train per hour.  This made it very difficult for people to get to the stadium from London and the south of England.

Overall, Stadium MK was a great ground to be at, and the away fans were very well looked after.  The view from my seat was very good, even though it was level with the corner flag, and the seats were very comfortable.  Refreshments were easily accessible to away fans, and the ground was very easy to get to from the train station, despite the lack of service.  The one disappointing thing about the ground was how empty it was, and the atmosphere suffered because of that.

Despite the fact that it was the highest ever attendance at the ground for a league game, there were still over 10,000 empty seats.  It made me wonder, is it really worth a club building a huge modern stadium if they are not going to be able to fill it?  In my opinion, it is better to have a small, old fashioned ground where there is a great atmosphere, rather than to have an empty modern ground.  Even so, Stadium MK was very nice and away fans were treated brilliantly.  I would be very happy to go back there, especially if the ground was more full next time.

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