The London Broncos’ move to AFC Wimbledon’s new stadium in Plow Lane has been officially approved.
Merton’s council endorsed the land-sharing deal at the new 9,215-seat stadium, which was completed late last year just 200 yards from Wimbledon’s spiritual home in the old Plow Lane.
Fans have yet to attend ground matches due to coronavirus restrictions.
A vote in March with Dons members resulted in 91.7% of the vote in favor of welcoming the Broncos to share land, although this required a revised building permit due to opposition from local residents .
AFC Wimbledon General Manager Joe Palmer said: “This is great news for us and the start of a whole new era in the history of Wimbledon sport.
“We are fortunate to be building something really special – on and off the pitch. Rugby League is a fast-paced and exciting game and the Broncos will play against the best teams.
“It is a privilege to become a partner of a club with such a pedigree.
“Off the field, the Broncos share the same values as us. They really want to be a valued and important part of the community at large. There are so many things we have in common, one of which is that we have both been looking for suitable accommodation for far too long.
“I truly believe the Broncos will help enrich our lives at Plow Lane.”
The London Broncos have been forced to turn around on their decision to leave Ealing Trailfinders at the end of last season, returning there to play home league games since the return of fans who also played at Rosslyn Park.
They had previously relocated their operations away from Ealing, where they played in their final year in the Super League in 2019.
Initially, it was hoped that next weekend’s game against Widnes would be the Broncos’ first game on the field, but it remains to be seen whether a rugby league will be played on the field in 2021.
One of the main considerations of the vote of confidence was to ensure that Wimbledon fans had the chance to watch their football team live in the stadium before other fans could attend the games.
Broncos general manager Jason Loubser added: “From our first meetings with AFC Wimbledon and seeing the early stages of construction of the stadium, it became clear to us how special the Plow Lane project was.
“Over the past 12 months we have learned how important the stadium is to the club, the fans and the community of Wimbledon and London Broncos are delighted to be able to call Plow Lane home soon.
“The community values that are so dear to the heart of AFC Wimbledon are the same values that we hold so deeply. We really want to become a big part of the surrounding infrastructure and neighborhood and have spent the last few months supporting the Donations Trust with their amazing food bank project and supporting our players every week. “
Plow Lane will become the Broncos’ 10th permanent home in their 41-year nomadic existence.
They started at Craven Cottage in 1980 and also played at Crystal Palace, Chiswick and Barnet before the advent of the Super League in 1996.
In their first year in the Super League, they played at The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic football club, and moved to Griffin Park in Brentford in 2002.
They had three different spells at Twickenham Stoop, including six seasons where they were known as Harlequins RL.
Two seasons were spent at The Hive, but for the five seasons before this one, they had called Ealing Trailfinders home.
In addition to the 10 permanent residences, the Broncos have played games at Rosslyn Park this year, as well as Hendon FC, Wealdstone FC, Leyton Orient and Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.