Aberdeen Football Club bosses have warned attendances could fall by thousands if their hopes for a new multi-million stadium are rejected.
Recent success has buoyed the numbers attending games at Pittodrie, with Saturday’s clash with Hamilton Academical attracting more than 15,000.
But club bosses fear that without the draw of a new stadium, Aberdeen could be left behind rivals when it comes to attracting big names and attendances would drop.
The warning comes just two months before a final decision on the ambitious proposal for the stadium and training facilities at Kingsford, between Westhill and Kingswells, is made.
A pre-determination meeting will be held next month, where both sides will get to air their views before councillors.
A new report linked to the application reads: “In the remain at Pittodrie scenario, a future attendance of 8,500 is assumed vs 13,476 in the move to Kingsford scenario.”
But a council officer queried the figures in the report and asked for more information – while the opposing No 2 Kingsford group said it “did not accept the claims” and insisted it was vital for the stadium to be built in the heart of the city.
However, George Yule, executive vice-chairman of AFC, defended the concerns and said: “The club needs suitable facilities and resources to continue to be successful as a team and a business.
“Without best-in-class community, training facilities and stadia, there will be limited investment for quality players and coaches which will result in poorer football performance and lower attendances.”
The warning came as the club announced a raft of new infrastructure measures in an attempt to reassure local residents worried about the increase in traffic.
They have vowed to build a pedestrian footbridge over the A944 Aberdeen to Alford road where the stadium would be built and said they will also put in part-time traffic lights where the road meets the new AWPR junction.
Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “The chamber is encouraged that the economic analysis shows the benefits of the stadium move.”