Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass hopes to have the Red Army back in force and rocking Pittodrie for the start of the season.
It is 16 months since supporters last packed the stadium with access to games denied due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Aberdeen fans were locked out of 19 of the 20 home games last season.
A lucky 300 that attended a test event fixture against Kilmarnock on September 12 last year were the only supporters to see live action at Pittodrie in the 2020-21 campaign.
Glass accepts everyone is ‘crying out’ for the return of supporters to Pittodrie and hopes plans remain on course for it to be done safely for the start of the Reds campaign.
Aberdeen face BK Hacken at Pittodrie in the Uefa Europa Conference League on Thursday July 22 before hosting Dundee United in the Premiership opener on Sunday August 1.
Glass said: “I would love it if we could get our fans back in the stadium.
“People are crying out for it, as long as it is done safely.
“I don’t have any inside knowledge but I am hopeful.
“Watching the Euros and seeing supporters inside stadiums has been great.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t have that if it is done safely and people are vaccinated. ”
Red Army locked out since March 2020
Pittodrie last held a game without supporter restrictions on March 7 2020 when the Reds defeated Hibs 3-1 in front of 14,388 fans.
Just six days later Scottish football was suspended at all levels due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When football finally returned on August 1 it was behind closed doors.
That would be the situation for the entire season, barring that solitary test fixture.
The absence of supporters from Pittodrie has resulted in a £10m financial black hole for the Dons.
If the easing of lockdown restrictions go ahead as planned First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will allow at least 2,000 supporters from July 19 when it is projected the whole of Scotland will move to Level 0, the lowest tier of the Scottish Government lockdown framework.
Moving to Level 0 will include the removal of the cap on numbers of people gathering outdoors and the reduction of physical distancing from two metres to one.
In Level 0 clubs would be able to make an application to their local authority to increase the number of supporters at a game.
The Scottish Government’s new route map to end social distancing when all coronavirus curbs are lifted is scheduled for August 9 – just eight days after the Dons kick off their domestic season with the New Firm derby clash against Dundee United.
Aberdeen are optimistic there will be full crowds back at Pittodrie in the new season, certainly by the second half of the campaign.
Clubs can apply for more fans for Europe
Aberdeen, Rangers, Celtic, St Johnstone and Hibs are all involved in European action before the proposed August 9 date for the complete relaxation of restrictions.
The Dons face BK Hacken at Pittodrie on Thursday July 22.
Applications for more fans for those European games will be invited on a case by case basis before restrictions are lifted on what is being termed ‘Freedom Day’ on August 9.
Crowds of 70,000 at games in Atlanta
Glass has only recently completed quarantine having returned to the United States during the Dons summer break.
Whilst in the States he attended a match with 40,000 supporters which he insists is proof football matches can be held safely with high numbers of fans.
Glass said: “I went to a game in Atlanta when there were 40,000 people in the building.
“They played a game in the city, Mexico v Honduras, since I left and there were 70,000 people in the stadium.
“It is controlled.”
What a night in Atlanta!!😬🏟🇲🇽
Incondicionales just rock!!💪🏽⚽️🔥
— Mexican National Team (@miseleccionmxEN) June 15, 2021
Season tickets snapped up in anticipation of Pittodrie return
Aberdeen fans have already snapped up more than 7,000 season tickets for the upcoming season in anticipation of being back at Pittodrie.
Glass insists it shows the willingness of the city to support the club despite a tough time for many financially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
He says those buying season briefs are helping fund his summer rebuild – with the Dons working on a permit to secure Houston Dynamo striker Christian Ramirez.
The Reds have agreed a deal with Major League Soccer for the 30-year-old United States international who has agreed personal terms to move to Pittodrie.
The final hurdle is a work permit but the Reds hope that can be completed for next week for the striker to jet over and quarantine.
Glass said: “It is incredible and shows the level of willingness within the city of Aberdeen to support this club.
“It has never been in doubt but it is tougher times than ever and the support is greatly, greatly appreciated by everyone at the club.
“It is incredible.
“People buying season tickets helps the club fund new signings.”