Scottish Premiership club Aberdeen’s proposed new stadium could have a capacity up to a fifth less than initially estimated.
Commercial director Rob Wicks told the club’s annual general meeting this week that 16,000 to 17,000 is the likely capacity of the stadium. Previous reports had suggested the Dons would construct a 20,000-seat stadium to replace the 22,000-capacity Pittodrie as the club’s home venue.
The Scotsman reports the club believes a reduced capacity could assist in creating a better atmosphere while also saving the club up to £16m. The Dons have an average league attendance this campaign of 10,155, with fewer than 6,500 attending a recent game against Livingston.
Wicks also told members and supporters that the 2025-26 season is the earliest a new stadium would be built.
Wicks and chairman Dave Cormack said a community stadium on a site near the Beach Leisure Centre being put forward by Aberdeen City Council has a chance of delivering for the club as the council are very keen for AFC to stay within the city. However, the pair said that a business case has still to be looked at and the Kingsford planning option is still on the table and remains a plan B.
Aberdeen last month welcomed a report by the city council which laid out plans for a new beachfront stadium as part of a wider redevelopment project. Part of the appeal is staying close to the beach, where their Pittodrie stadium is located.
The club had previously agreed a deal to build a new stadium on the outskirts of Aberdeen but in August released a statement saying that it was supporting the council’s new beachfront vision.
Plans for a £50m (€58.5m/$67.8m) ground with a 20,000 capacity in Kingsford had been approved in 2019, but local councillors have now detailed plans for a stadium and leisure plans at the beachfront. The hope is to strengthen links between the city centre of Aberdeen and the beach.