While the wait goes on until football can return to Stadium MK, live sport will be taking place at the home of MK Dons next week in the form of snooker – and that is ‘huge news’ for the Football Club, according to Executive Director Andrew Cullen.
Matchroom.Live Championship League Snooker, a tournament which will see 64 of the world’s best snooker players compete across 11 days, will be held in Stadium MK’s Marshall Arena from June 1st.
It will be one of the first live sporting events to take place in the UK, and the first real action that Stadium MK has seen since the Coronavirus lockdown was imposed, and during an interview with MKFM, Andrew Cullen explained why that is so important for the Stadium MK business and the Football Club.
“It’s going to be great to have live sport on our television screens once again and we’re so proud that’s coming from Stadium MK and the Marshall Arena,” Cullen said in his wide-ranging interview with MKFM.
“It’s come about, essentially, because we have a relationship with Matchroom Sport. They were looking for a safe venue and decided, from their previous experience here, that Stadium MK, with the Marshall Arena and the on-site DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, was a really safe option for them.
“They have worked very hard with Government to create a set of approved guidelines. Equally, we’ve worked with Milton Keynes Council to support us with trying to get this show on the road.
“We must give special thanks to the Council - their support and ‘can-do’ culture, which we’re famous for in Milton Keynes, has really shone through once again.”
He continued: “For our part, this will give us an opportunity to enforce our Covid-secure arrangements ahead of when we can open the hotel to the general public, which we hope won’t be too far away.
“It means the business is back on its feet a little earlier than we expected and it starts to generate a little bit of cash coming through.
“It gets the hotel up and running and we hope it will further enhance the credentials of the stadium and the hotel, by being one of the first to go. That will be really important in giving people confidence in using the venue, when we ease out of lockdown.
“The Football Club’s finances, of course, are hugely dependent on the activities that go on in the hotel and the Marshall Arena, so, directly, it’s absolutely huge news for the Football Club. The quicker that we’re back as a business then the safer the Football Club is.
"Hopefully this means we can bounce back with strength, bounce back with hope and bounce back with a real degree of optimism for the future – not just the business but MK Dons too.”