National Hockey Stadium


National Hockey Stadium
National Hockey Stadium (former)
The Hockey Stadium
National hockey stadium.jpg
Full name National Hockey Stadium and Conference Centre
Location Milton Keynes
Built 1995
Opened 1995
Closed 2007
Demolished 2009-2010
Owner English Partnerships
Capacity 4,000 all seated (9,000 with extra stands added by MK Dons)
Field dimensions 100 x 64 m
Tenants
England Hockey 1995-2003
Wimbledon F.C./Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 2003-07

The National Hockey Stadium was a sports stadium in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, with a nominal capacity of around 4,000 seats (9,000 between 2003 and 2007). It was used by England Hockey as their national stadium from 1995 to 2003 and as a professional football stadium (for first Wimbledon, then Milton Keynes Dons) from 2003 to 2007. At that point, Milton Keynes Dons moved across Milton Keynes to their new stadium near Bletchley, the stadium:mk. From then until late 2009 (when demolition began), the ground remained unused. As of November 2010, the site is cleared and construction of a planned new national headquarters building for Network Rail is underway.

Contents

Hockey

The stadium was built in 1995 as a new national field hockey stadium, with a synthetic pitch. The ground was used for national and international (field) hockey until 2003. It had a covered main stand running the full length of one side of the pitch, opposite which was an unroofed stand running about one third of the length of the pitch, straddling the halfway line.

In 1997, the stadium was used as the venue for the sixth edition of the FIH Men's Junior World Cup. It was also the venue, in 2000, for the FIH Women's Qualifying Tournament for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

In 2003, when the ground was leased to Wimbledon F.C., a grass pitch was laid, meaning that the stadium was out of commission for hockey. Temporary stands were added at either end of the pitch. Hockey internationals and playoff matches were reallocated to various leading club grounds around the country. At the end of the lease (May 2007), the temporary stands were removed.

On 2 April 2007 the trustees of the National Hockey Foundation which owned the lease of the stadium announced that they had arranged to hand the lease back to English Partnerships as detailed study had shown that the stadium would no longer be viable as a hockey venue, particularly in light of the building of another hockey facility in Stratford, London, as part of the 2012 Olympics facilities.

Football

The stadium was the home of Wimbledon Football Club from September 2003 until June 2004, and after its rebranding, of Milton Keynes Dons until May 2007. The club moved in during 2003, converted the synthetic pitch to grass and added additional stands and seating (with up to 9,000 seats). Adjacent to the Home supporters stand (known as "The Cowshed") sported a small herd of concrete cows 'grazing'. No one knows if these cows were the original ones, as there are many replicas around the city. As a result of the cow link, the team mascots are two pantomime-style cows named "Donny" and "Mooie". On several occasions, the cows were 'mooved' by jovial fans to make them look as if they were mating. In July 2007 the club moved to its new stadium:mk at Denbigh North, near Bletchley prior to the start of the 2007-08 season. The home supporters end at the Denbigh stadium is also known as the Cowshed.

Record attendance at the National Hockey Stadium: 8,306 v Tottenham Hotspur League Cup 3rd Round, October 25, 2006.

Average Attendance At the National Hockey Stadium: 2006-2007: 6,034 (League Two) 2005-2006: 5,776 (League One) 2004-2005: 4,896 (League One)

Future

After the Dons left for Denbigh, the supplementary seating was disassembled, returning the capacity to 4,000. However, the venue was not been used notably thereafter.

At end of October 2008, English Partnerships (owners of the site) announced agreement with Network Rail to make the site available for a new headquarters building, which means that the stadium would be demolished.[1]

On 17 December 2009, demolition of the stadium began and was completed by March 2010.[2]

Location

References


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