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Aberdeen engages AFL Architects on stadium review

AFL Architects has been appointed to carry out a design and operational review of a new stadium for Scottish Premiership football club Aberdeen.

The club’s new 20,000-seat stadium is expected to cost £50m (€58m/$65m), with the wide-ranging complex to also incorporate a training centre, community hub and youth development academy.

In March, Aberdeen was given the green light to press forward with the plans after a judge threw out a legal challenge against the project. Work on the first phase of the scheme commenced in April 2018 but the No Kingsford Stadium group had argued that the chosen site ventured into green belt land.

Aberdeen City Council contested the action and the Court of Session ruled that it was not at fault when granting planning permission for the project.

Aberdeen will now work closely with AFL to appraise the design of the new stadium. AFL said the outcomes of the review will ensure the stadium provides opportunities and revenue generation, while improving operational efficiency within the bounds of the approved plans.

Recommendations are set to deliver an economically sustainable venue for the club, and one that significantly enhances the spectator experience.

Aberdeen’s commercial director Rob Wicks said: “We have an ambitious vision to build and operate a dynamic and inclusive stadium which will positively inspire and touch the lives of everyone in the region and help the club achieve long-term success both on and off the pitch.

“AFL are particularly well placed to provide the necessary insight and guidance at this early stage of the process. Once complete, the wider project will act as a catalyst for greater sporting achievements and events in the region and will aid our quest to be a UEFA Top 100 club.”

AFL director John Roberts added: “This new stadium is the next chapter in Aberdeen FC’s ongoing evolution. We are therefore delighted to be involved in this important project, and will be using our wealth of experience in stadia to ensure the club receives a design that proves viable for the long-term, while staying faithful to the original design vision. We look forward to working closely with the club and its many invested stakeholders.”

AFL has performed similar reviews for the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea, as well as a number of venues that have hosted UEFA European Championship matches.

Aberdeen has played at Pittodrie Stadium since the club’s formation in 1903.