16 March 2018: 4:00 pm
Demolition day at stadium site
Work has started on AFC Wimbledon's 10,000-seat stadium development on Plough Lane, with demolition of the old greyhound track starting on 16 March.
Former Wimbledon FC players Dave Bassett and Ian Cooke were joined by the leader of Merton Council Stephen Alambritis and local school children at a live countdown event to celebrate the milestone.
The 90,000sq m mixed-use development will include 602 homes, retail space and a squash and fitness club.
Construction work on the stadium is expected to start as soon as the site is cleared, possibly by late summer, with a 2019 completion date.
The stadium will have an initial capacity of around 10,000 seats, with permission to potentially expand to 20,000.
Alambritis said: "This is a momentous day in Merton's history, with the first physical signs of AFC Wimbledon returning to their spiritual home in the London Borough of Merton.
"The council is extremely proud to have played an important part in the club’s journey since we granted planning permission in 2015.
I'm looking forward to seeing the Plough Lane site come alive again and watching the new stadium and housing being built over the coming months."
The club first announced its ambitions to build a new stadium back in 2013.
AFC Wimbledon’s chief executive Erik Samuelson said: "Ever since we were reformed in 2002 we’ve been nurturing a dream of returning to a stadium of our own, back in Wimbledon.
"Today is the start of turning that dream into reality – we are on our way!"