Scottish Premiership football club Aberdeen has detailed plans to increase the capacity of Pittodrie to make more tickets available for home supporters.
Following talks with Aberdeen City Council’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG), the club has made around 200 more season tickets available in the Merkland Stand at Pittodrie.
Aberdeen will sell through the waiting list of fans who have registered an interest in a season ticket in the Red Shed area of the stand. Any remaining season tickets will then be made available on a first-come-first-served basis.
The total usable capacity of the stand will increase to 2,095. Aberdeen will continue talks with the SAG in the coming weeks and months.
The club is also planning structural changes to Pittodrie’s South Stand, which is mainly used by home fans but also houses away supporters. Aberdeen said the modifications will allow the club to have a more bespoke offering when it comes to allocating the number of away tickets.
The club hopes to push towards around 1,000 more home fans in the South Stand, specifically in Section R, for matches where it is appropriate. The move would also enable walk-up home fans, around 2,000 per game, access to better seats.
Aberdeen will begin work on the structural changes to the South Stand immediately following approval. The changes will eventually result in the removal of the fence between the traditional home and away sections, along with the installation of new toilets and catering facilities at the back of the visitors’ section and the re-routing of some entry and exit ways for fans. It is anticipated that the work will be finished by mid-September.
The club also intends to hold discussions with fellow Premiership clubs regarding reciprocal away allocations. The outcome of these discussions will play a part in the allocations Aberdeen sets at Pittodrie in the future.
Aberdeen chief executive Alan Burrows said: “There has been a huge amount of excellent work undertaken by AFC staff over the last few years on engaging with supporters and making match days at Pittodrie more noisy and more colourful and improving the atmosphere. We will continue to engage with all stakeholders to try and build on that, whilst maintaining a safe and secure environment for everyone.
“Our plans for the South Stand are very much an extension of that desire. We want even more Aberdeen fans coming to Pittodrie in the best seats, cheering the team on. The fence has not only proved a visible hindrance for fans in that area, but it has also not allowed us any flexibility to try and maximise attendances.
“This work will also have the added benefit of increasing the catering provisions in the South Stand by 25%, which we hope will further reduce queues and waiting times in that area for specific games.”
In December, Aberdeen welcomed a decision from Aberdeen City Council to keep a community stadium within its overall beach masterplan. It came after the club had stepped up its efforts to secure a new beachfront stadium by releasing an economic impact report for the project, which outlined that a new venue would inject at least £1bn (€1.16bn/$1.28bn) into the local economy over the next 50 years and generate footfall of 38 million.
A full business case for the project is set to be reported to the council in August.