Aberdeen FC chiefs have unveiled the latest plans for the club’s state-of-the-art stadium at Kingsford – and say the best possible team is making it a reality.
The 20,000-capacity ground will feature safe-standing rail seats and a beer hall where up to 1,000 fans can drink in the hours up to kick-off.
Supporters will be able to walk round all four sides of the stadium and there will be four matchday dining options.
The club’s commercial director Rob Wicks and new chairman Dave Cormack told the Evening Express what fans can expect at their new home.
The Dons recently tasked London-based AFL Architects with reviewing the stadium plans and the firm has refreshed the features.
Mr Wicks said: “The whole board found the review really insightful.
“There are constantly evolving trends in hospitality and what was built into the stadium plans from three years ago are pretty much out of date now.
“You look at Tottenham’s new stadium – they have eight tiers of hospitality.
“We’ve got access to the person who worked on the Tottenham project, who is coming to see us to look at our existing hospitality offer at Pittodrie and to look further down the line.
“We think there are easily four dining offerings. We want a supporters’ bar. It could hold 1,000 people. It would have a long bar that serves beer quickly and has a food offering where fans have maybe paid an annual subscription to access this facility.”
Current rules ban alcohol sales at Scottish football matches in view of the pitch and police generally only allow it at top-flight games in hospitality.
Mr Wicks said: “In the supporters’ bar, the blinds would be down and it would be considered hospitality. It brings people in and there would be a great atmosphere. It would have proper digital TVs showing other games and all the score updates and it is an environment you would want to be in as a fan.
“There is room for more of a family-based concept for kids to run around and there’s comfort food. It’s like being at a TGI Fridays.
“Then we think there’s a much more contemporary dining offer. That might be for 300-600 people.
“And we also think there is room for a fine dining offer.
“We could use a premium restaurant brand that, Monday to Friday, is a restaurant at the stadium for anybody in town to come and use, but at the weekend provides the premium offering for our corporate guests.”
The stadium will be open plan, so supporters can leave the food and drink area and head to different stands for kick-off, such as a family stand or the rail-seating area, where people would be encouraged to stand and sing.
Mr Cormack said: “We don’t think there is going to be an issue with the Scottish footballing authorities about installing rail seats.
“We need to think about UEFA because, for European games, rail seats need to be put in the locked-down position and become seats.
“The people we have lined up to manage the market testing for the stadium features are the top guys in the industry.
“We’ve got the best possible team making this a reality.
“AFL work with (European football governing body) UEFA and their review was really engaging.
“If we’re going to do it, we’ll do it right.”