Kingsmeadow or The Cherry Red Records Stadium for sponsorship purposes is the home ground of AFC Wimbledon and Kingstonian FC. First opened in 1989, the 4,850 capacity ground consists of less than 50% seats and heading into the 2014/2015 season is the smallest stadium in League Two.
Kingsmeadow first opened in 1989 with a friendly match against then owners Kingstonian FC and larger London neighbours Queens Park Rangers. With the Surrey based club forced into financial administration after being relegated to the conference timed with the emergence of AFC Wimbledon, the two clubs harmoniously agreed a ground share deal.
When Wimbledon purchased the lease from Kingston Council in March 2003 it was agreed that they would have to offer Kingstonian a renewable 25 year sublease and an annual pre-season friendly which would help cover some of The K’s rent.
The Dons have announced plans to build a new stadium known as New Plough Lane on the old Greyhound track in Wimbledon but there is still a long way to go regarding planning permission and financing such a project, so expect the club to remain at Kingsmeadow for the foreseeable future.
Wimbledon FC previously played at Selhurst Park before relocating to MK at the start of the 2003/2004 season in a highly controversial move.
Below is a seating plan of The Cherry Red Record’s (Kingsmeadow) Stadium:
The four stands at Kingsmeadow are as follows: Nongshim (North), Your Gold Travel Stand which is occupied by both home and away fans (East), Ecohouse End (South) and the Paul Strank Stand (West) which is the main stand of the ground, housing the changing rooms, offices, club shop and bar.
Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.
The Matchday Experience
As stated above visiting supporters are housed in the “Your Golf Travel Terrace” which is shared with the home fans. The maximum allocation is believed to be 650 but in some cases the Nongshim stand is capable of housing anywhere between 90 – 200 away fans.
The away terrace itself is probably the smallest and most cramped part of the stadium with the low hanging-roof really appearing to box away fans in when it is busy from the home sections of the ground, although it does help to create a lively match day atmosphere.
If you are coming in from Norbiton Station (and main road) please note that the away terrace isn’t accessible from the main gated entrance, and instead requires you to take the next right onto Jack Goodchild Way.
The two bars at the stadium which welcome away fans baring 1-2 high profile games a season are located within the Paul Strank stand which is on the opposite side of where the away fans turnstiles are located with it being advisable that you allow yourself enough time (10-15 minutes) to make the journey across to avoid missing the kick-off if you plan to have a few pre-match pints.
Since the Prince of Wales located on the main road leading up the stadium has closed there isn’t much choice of drinking establishments besides within the ground itself unless you choose to come down from Kingston Upon Thames high street.
The two club-owned bars are located within the Paul Strank Stand and are known as the “back bar” and “middle bar” with the each watering hole capable of holding 150 and 300 people respectively. Whilst the capacity sounds low, more often than not weather permitting fans choose to sip their pints outside although some do like the dinginess and the low-glow of a projected Sky Sports News picture.
Outside of Norbiton Station there is a modest sized “Sainsburys Local” (the opposite side of the platform to the ground) which can be a decent chance to grab a meal-deal or a sandwich to go. As you will be walking through a residential area after emerging from the train station your choices are limited until you come to Cambridge Road which is the largest road near to the stadium.
On the way to the stadium there is a small parade of shops which consists of the popular “Fat Boys Cafe” which lives up to its name by offering a decent decent fry-up, a reliable chip shop and if you forget anything from Sainsbury’s, a locally run newsagents.
Once you have entered the main gate, there are numerous catering vans located outside the stands and once you have clicked through the turnstile there are more booths which sell typical football foods such as burgers, hot dogs and pies.
AFC Wimbledon’s club shop is located in the Paul Strank Stand facing the car-park and is accessed by turning right once you have entered the main gates of the stadium.
It is a pretty small shop with merchandise often displayed outside on racks and it can often get busy on matchdays although the 3 – 4 members of staff who volunteer there each week are always friendly and more than happy to offer assistance.
Regulars of the stadium will also report that there is a guy located between the Paul Strank Stand and the car park who sells an exceptionally large collection of football badges – ranging from the obscure to the obvious. Worth a look.
Due to the nature of the ground share, and limited budget for staffing (and perhaps lack of demand) the store is only open on matchdays:
- Saturday Afternoon Games – 12.15pm until 2.45pm and again for around 30 minutes after kick-off.
- Midweek Evening Games – 6.15 – 7.30pm
You can always visit the club’s official online store though instead: http://wimbledonheritage.co.uk/shop/
It doesn’t appear as if AFC Wimbledon and Kingstonian F.C. currently offer fans the chance to undertake a stadium tour of The Cherry Red Records Stadium. If this changes, we’ll be sure to update this section.
Tickets to see AFC Wimbledon play at the Cherry Red Record’s Stadium typically go on sale a few weeks before kick-off and can either be purchased online, or in person during normal office hours (9.30am – 5.00pm). The club does not have a ticket hotline but somewhat contradictorily allows some fans to order tickets via post.
Ticket prices fall under one or two categories:
- Adults – Chemflow End (£17.00), Your Gold Travel Stand (£16.00)
- Concessions – Chemflow End (£11.00), Your Gold Travel Stand (£10.00)
- Under 18s – Chemflow End (£4.00), Your Gold Travel Stand (£4.00)
- Adults – Chemflow End (£25.00), Your Gold Travel Stand (£20.00)
- Concessions – Chemflow End (£15.00), Your Gold Travel Stand (£13.00)
- Under 18s – Chemflow End (£11.00), Your Gold Travel Stand (£9.00)
Concessions available with valid ID for over 65’s, students and the unemployed.
Kingsmeadow Stadium is located in Norbiton which is an area belonging to the south-west London Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames. It is approximately 1 mile from the town centre and 11 miles to central London railway station, Charing Cross.
The nearest train station is Norbiton which is approximately a 15 minute walk away from the Cherry Red Records Stadium and located within Transport for London’s Zone 5. Served by direct trains from London Waterloo and Clapham Junction, this is arguably the most convenient way for anyone coming through London to get to the stadium.
Once you are at the station exit in the opposite direction from Sainsburys, down the ramp or through the tunnel and then turn right and then left onto Norbiton Avenue. Follow this road round for around 5-8 minutes until it joins onto Gloucester Road (right turn). Follow this road until you reach the main road known as Cambridge/Kingston Road. Turn left and follow this, passing the parade of shops which contains Fat Boys Cafe and it is on this side of the road that you will come to the Kingsmeadow Gates.
The number 131 bus service drops you right off outside the stadium and runs from both Kingston Town Centre and Wimbledon train station.
The address for Kingsmeadow Stadium is:
- Jack Goodchild Way, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 3PB.
There is a car park with approximately 200 spaces located within the environs of the ground behind the Paul Strank Stand with 30 of these places reserved for disabled fans. It operates on a first come, first served basis and if you are planning to use it, I would advise you to get get there a few hours before kick off to ensure your space.
Failing this, there is a limited amount of residential parking available on the roads surrounding the ground but it can be a bit of a minefield with permits and parking tickets.
The nearest hotels to Wimbledon’s stadium are back in Kingston town centre with the likes of Travelodge and the family run Hermes Hotel two of the most reliably options.