MK Dons have been awarded EFL Family Excellence status for a 10th year in a row.
Now in their 10th anniversary year, an unprecedented number of clubs have attained the Family Excellence Award for 2017, with a significant increase in the benchmark standard being applied by the judging panel.
Over the past decade, the Dons are one of just eight clubs to have secured the award in every year they have been eligible to receive it, along with Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Cardiff City, Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town and Reading.
Meanwhile, four clubs - Cambridge United, Mansfield Town, Newport County and Aston Villa - have also received the accolade for the first time this season.
More than ever this year, EFL clubs are providing families with engaging and innovative matchday entertainment, as they continue to find new and unique ways to attract fans and their families to matches. Such experiences include high levels of ticket booking assistance for families, extensive pre-match advice, exciting entertainment both inside and outside stadiums, access to players, mascots and dedicated family zones and activities.
Over the past 10 years, more and more young people have made their way through the turnstiles in the EFL, with junior season ticket sales having increased by a staggering 37% since 2007, and 20% of all EFL club match attendees now under the age of 16.
Such evidence is a strong indication of a healthy future for football in this country according to Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive.
He said: “The EFL Family Excellence Awards have proven to be a fantastic vehicle for celebrating and highlighting the excellent progress that clubs are making in providing families with improved match day experiences.
“Now in their 10th year, the Awards have made a significant impact and this year’s winners have once again shown how innovative thinking and a strong commitment can enhance the experience for both home and away fans.
“I wish to congratulate each and every club who has been recognised for playing their part in continuing to attract a growing number of younger fans to the game in what is undoubtedly a valuable indication of a bright and healthy future for the EFL.”
The Award recipients are decided using independent assessments from real families, who make matchday visits across all 72 League clubs, during the 2016/17 season.