Live sport returns to Stadium MK this afternoon and while it’s not football, Chairman Pete Winkelman is thrilled to see the home of MK Dons busy once again.
The Matchroom.Live Championship League begins this afternoon inside Stadium MK’s Marshall Arena, with 64 of the world’s best snooker players competing over 11 days to be crowned champion.
Being held behind-closed-doors and under strict safety guidelines, the Matchroom.Live Championship League sees one of the first live sporting events take place in the UK since lockdown began – something which Pete Winkelman is proud to have happen at Stadium MK.
"We're really excited," the MK Dons chairman told BBC Three Counties Radio on Monday morning.
"There has been an enormous amount of work that has gone on behind the scenes. We want to show we can operate in a civid-secure environment and we can protect everyone involved. We have every confidence we can pull that off.
"We have played our role in making sure we can provide Matchroom Sport with this exclusive access to the site they can be the first live sport back in the UK.
We've had no live sport in this country for months and while I love the re-runs, the magic of live sport is that you just don't know what is going to happen. To have that live in Milton Keynes, makes us really proud."
"We want to show we can operate in a civid-secure environment and we can protect everyone involved. We have every confidence we can pull that off."
Winkelman added: "Getting back to work has certainly helped us. The entire income of the business shut down due to the lockdown, which put a great strain on us, so to get back to doing some work, is a really good thing.
"We have a strong underlying business - that will hopefully give us the strength to see out this crisis. There's only a few people back at work - not everyone - but it has given us all a real boost that there is a bright future for us."
Day 1, which begins at 3pm, will see Groups 2 and 13 compete across two tables, with a total of 12 matches set to be played.
The likes of world number one Judd Trump and world number 11 David Gilbert will be involved on Monday, battling it out to be the two group winners who will progress to the second round of the competition.
ITV4 will be airing daily coverage of the tournament for those in the UK while Eurosport and Matchroom.Live will be broadcasting across Europe and the world.