Available on the day priced at £22 adults, £17 over 65s and £7 U18s, there is a ticket office for away fans just beyond our entrance as you approach stadium:mk from the main access route, just opposite a well-known chicken outlet founded by grey-haired bearded man that isn't Santa.
OK, I'll try to remain calm, collected and objective. Having visited Milton Keynes for musical events at its eponymous bowl to see such luminaries as Simple Minds, REM and Radiohead, Stadium MK would have been an ideal venue to do so. Alas, this particular edifice had not been erected back in the day, so us sad old musos missed out on relative luxury.
In the meantime, some of us were also visiting football grounds with character, history and wholly bereft of being a sanitised experience. So it doesn't make me a weirdo to think it's slightly inverse. This is, without a doubt, a well constructed, wholly modern stadium which is ideally suitable for when the band of your choice play a song from the new album and you need a comfort break before more of the old vintage - but as grounds go, however, there is no escaping it, the view is tremendous, the leg room is as good as you can get and it's a bit handy the kick off is at 3.00 as the seats are that luxuriant that an early kick off would potentially cause a repeat of that light nap on the previous evening.
We are now in the upper tier of the corner block of the North Stand, the seats previously missing from the higher level having been installed. As I have stated, the facilities if you are into stadia are as good as you can get, a slight climb, but a wide concourse, plenty of room to manoeuvre, access great and pretty much aggro free all round, although we are a little further distant from the pitch than previous league visits.
Now still stay calm. The stadium is surrounded by shops. Not small localised ones like Bradford, but a supermarket. And a cinema. And lots of fast food outlets. And roundabouts. The ground itself is quite quirky in choice as opposed to others, but as one would expect from a retail park, they are all there.
Now in an ideal world and if you do have the flexibility, the optimum place to imbibe would be the lovely village of Fenny Stratford, several nice pubs, chippie and about 20 minutes walk from the stadium, if you have the time, worth a visit.
Milton Keynes itself is realistically a bus or cab ride away but good choices there, whilst nearby Bletchley has an OK pub by the station (albeit not operational) and a nice CIU Club. At the ground, there is a hotel that has an admittedly nice bar.
Well the train bit is easiest enough. There aren't any.
By road, the Post Code is MK1 1ST. Take the M1 to Junction 13 then aim at the A421 to Milton Keynes until you hit code road country - Three roundabouts, then the second exit onto the H9 Groveway. This takes you to the interchange with the A5, take the second exit, V6, a Grafton Street far from pedestrianised and you are pretty much there. Signposts are about to the stadium, along with those to IKEA. Sounds silly, but given the date and the stadium's close proximity to shops, the traffic could be pretty busy. The car park at the ground is pretty big, if pricey, but may be the best option as there is no guarantee the nearby industrial units will be open, but I suspect with Christmas and that...
No doubt many people will have shared a cracker the day before, normally receiving a paper bag, some form of plastic and a piece of paper that has a trivia question on it, so I won't blind you with science. However, Charlton Athletic and MK Dons do seem to have a link - now what could it be...
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