Promotion now feels real, says Dons director

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Seeing the fixtures in black and white has made Dons’ promotion to the Championship feel real, according to Andrew Cullen.

The season was mapped out for the club this morning (Wednesday) following the club’s dramatic final day promotion from League 1 last month.

With huge established names like Nottingham Forest, Leeds, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday to name but a few all on the list of teams to face Dons next season, Executive Director Mr Cullen admitted despite his position at the club, he still gets the buzz of being a football fan when the list first comes out.

“It felt real for the first time when I saw the list this morning,” he said. “I got the chill down the spine when I saw some of the games on there.

“In my job, I had to look at when the biggest clubs were coming to stadium:mk, but of course I still had a look down the list to see when we’d be going to the best grounds too. There are only a few on there I haven’t been to, but I’m looking forward to Middlesbrough away because it’s one of the places I’ve not been to yet!”

Even before the fixture list was revealed, Dons had sold in excess of 6,700 season tickets this season - considerably up on last season’s number. And sales are still going strong, with nearly 300 sold last week.

And now with the release of the dates, Mr Cullen hopes even more fans will come out of the woodwork and be part of Dons’ first season in the Championship.

He said: “We’ve already had tremendous numbers signing up for our season tickets, with some great deals on. We’re really pleased to see 900 U12s season tickets have been taken up.”

With bigger opponents set to ply their trade at stadium:mk next season, it won’t just be the home attendances set to increase, with the number of away fans through the turnstiles expected to bolster the average attendance significantly.

And that means more money for the club.

Mr Cullen added: “Aside from season tickets, we get 41 per cent of matchday income from the ‘casual’ fans, which includes away support. With a lot of teams coming to the stadium for the first time, there will be a curiosity to come for the game, and a lot of the teams travel well anyway.

“For a club still in it’s relative infancy in footballing terms, we’ve been in the top six of average attendances in League 1, which is great considering the history of some of the other clubs.

“But we hope we can get around the 14,000 mark for most games next season.”

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