AFC Wimbledon is crowdfunding to help finance its return to a new stadium on Plough Lane.
- Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom
Categories: Travel, Leisure & Sport Non-Digital B2C
They won the FA Cup in 1988; then came back from the dead in 2002. Now AFC Wimbledon is going home, back to Plough Lane. This footballing miracle has only been possible because its fans refused to surrender.
Just 17 years ago, all seemed lost. Wimbledon’s football club, which had represented its community since 1889, was moved lock, stock, barrel and league place to Milton Keynes. But the supporters reformed as a fan-owned club in the ninth tier of English football. In 13 seasons they have been promoted six times and never relegated. But there remained one goal that kept driving the supporters. They wanted to go home. Back to the community where they belonged. Back to Plough Lane.
In 2017, they got the go ahead to build a new stadium just 230 metres from the club’s original ground. The aim is to kick off season 2020/21 there - but it’s down to you. By backing the club’s crowdfunding campaign, you can help AFC Wimbledon raise the extra funds it needs to realise the stadium vision.
Home attendances have risen steadily, although they have been capped by the limited capacity of the current stadium. Since promotion to the Football League, attendances have continued to rise and currently average over 4,000, in excess of 80% of the operating capacity of the ground. Upon moving into the new stadium, we are targeting an average attendance of 7,000, which would be an increase of 63% on the 2018/19 average attendance.
The new stadium has been designed to have a significant impact on the club. With the increase in capacity we would like to drive more revenue through the turnstiles, as well as aiming to utilise the additional space in the West Stand to generate substantially more from non match day revenue.
We expect that it will also enable us to increase the activities associated with AFC Wimbledon Foundation, encouraging sporting participation, improving the local community’s health through sport and delivering innovative and attractive programmes to engage those from disadvantaged and excluded communities.
Substantial accomplishments to date:
Substantial accomplishments to date
· AFC Wimbledon was re-founded in 2002 and entered the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League;
· The club has since been promoted 6 times in 13 seasons, going from the ninth tier of English football to the third division - League One;
· In 2010–11, AFC Wimbledon finished runners-up in the Conference National and then beat Luton Town in the play-off final to clinch promotion back to the Football League. It was the club's fifth promotion in nine years - and one of the most meteoric rises achieved by a football club since automatic promotion within the League pyramid system began in the 1980s.
· In 2015–16 season, after five consecutive seasons in League Two, AFC Wimbledon reached the play-off final at Wembley - sealing promotion with a 2-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle, in front of 57,956 fans;
· In December 2017, the club received final permission to begin work on the construction of a new stadium on the site of the former Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium, only 230 metres from away from the site on Plough Lane where Wimbledon FC's previous stadium stood until 2002.
The financial aim is to maintain sustainability in League One & enable the club to challenge for promotion through a competitive wage budget & expansion to support a future in the Championship. Turnover is expected to increase due to the significantly increased capacity of the stadium and the additional revenue streams we expect it to enable. Research indicates the new stadium could lead to increased local demand; other new stadia have seen significant boosts in attendances. Our current home end sold out 9 times last season; the away end 10 times. Home seating was sold out for the whole season.
Increased number of hospitality seats, including corporate boxes & multiple hospitality areas;
Significantly expand concessions for food & drink;
Increase sponsorship & advertising;
Increase revenue from non-matchday income, including one of the largest spaces in the area for formal dining, conferencing & events;
Longer-term revenue opportunities will take advantage of flexible spaces to be built on the 3rd floor of the West stand.
Any discounts, rewards and/or offers listed by a company in its campaign are subject to the terms and conditions applied by that company and listed above. It is the company’s responsibility to honour such discounts, rewards and/or offers and Seedrs does not take any responsibility for them.
Use of proceeds
Expected to be designed & built by two of the leading venue construction companies, the new stadium has the potential to increase commercial revenues for the reasons seen above. We believe that this will help enable the Club to continue to be sustainable as a business
Initially expected to open with 9,000 capacity, it can eventually expand to 20,000 by replacing semi-permanent stands with larger, permanent structures. The main West Stand is planned to have four tiers with media facilities, camera gantries & 12 glass-fronted executive boxes. The players' tunnel will lead out from the centre of the stand, with the technical areas on either side.
Other features are expected to include a pub, open 7 days a week; a fan zone so fans can meet before, during & after games; a conferencing suite capable of seating 500, & a museum charting the history of the club.
The stadium is also expected to help increase activities associated with the AFC Wimbledon Foundation, encouraging sporting participation, improving health through sport & delivering innovative programmes to engage those from disadvantaged & excluded communities.
The club is working towards finalising the contract for the construction of the stadium, including taking steps to satisfy itself that the proceeds of the equity raised, taken together with the debt finance it is seeking and other resources available to it, will be sufficient to cover its commitments under the construction contract with Buckingham Group Contracting Limited. The funds paid by investors to Seedrs as part of the crowd funding will be held by Seedrs until the construction contract with Buckingham is signed.
Please note that the company has two classes of share; ordinary and A ordinary shares. Ordinary shares, which are held by the Dons Trust have 3 votes per share whereas A ordinary shares have 1 vote. All investors in this round will receive A ordinary shares.