More international football is set to come to Milton Keynes after they were included in England's proposed list of venues to host the UEFA Women's European Championships in 2021.
As the sole bidder for the tournament, England was confirmed as the host country on Monday, with nine grounds on the proposed stadia, including Stadium MK.
The FA’s decision to bid was part of its ‘Gameplan for Growth’ strategy to grow the women’s game, and followed the successful Euro 2017 campaign in the Netherlands which saw the Lionesses reach the semi-finals, generating a record peak audience of four million TV viewers in the UK. That success was followed by a best-ever showing at the SheBelieves Cup in the United States in March 2018 and qualification in October 2018 for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup next June.
MK Dons Chairman Pete Winkelman said: “We are so excited to be welcoming some of the best Women’s Footballers to Stadium MK.
“As a club, we’re proud to support women’s football in Milton Keynes, and hope hosting such an event will encourage more young females to participate in the sport.”
“We are all looking forward to hosting this tournament and showcasing our magnificent Stadium MK and our great new City.”
James Honeyman, Manager of MK Dons Ladies, commented: “MK Dons have always been forward-thinking with regards the development of women’s football.
“We’ve had a number of young women represent England at youth level and continue to have over 100 girls in our set-up.
“This tournament will be great for the city of Milton Keynes and we can’t wait to see the city embrace the competition.”
Other venues include: Brighton (Amex Stadium), London (Wembley and Griffin Park, Brentford), Manchester (Manchester City Academy Stadium), Nottingham (City Ground), Rotherham (New York Stadium), Sheffield (Bramall Lane) and Southampton (St Mary's).
The next key date will be the draw for the qualifying group stage, which will be held on 22 February next year. Following that, the qualifiers will be played from August 2019 to September 2020 to determine 12 of the finalists, with the play-offs determining the last three entrants in October 2020.
England previously staged UEFA Women’s Euro 2005 at venues across the north-west of the country with 29,092 watching England’s opening win against Finland in Manchester a record for an opening group match.