Aberdeen hope to have 7,500 fans inside Pittodrie as early as October if Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease.
The Dons Premiership campaign will begin behind closed doors on the weekend of August 1.
Loss of gate receipts due to the coronavirus outbreak is predicted to inflict £10 million in losses to the Reds.
Now the Dons hope to only suffer a few closed door home games before Holyrood gives the green light for the partial return of fans.
On that government go ahead Aberdeen plan access for 7,500 season ticket holders, allowing for 1m social distancing. Already 6,700 season tickets have been sold.
However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scotland’s National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch have cautioned that an October date for the fans phased return is not written in stone.
Aberdeen commercial director Rob Wicks said: “As we emerge from lockdown and restrictions are easing, the situation with regards to football is changing on an almost daily basis.
“With positive progress on the fight against Covid-19, there may now only be a few home games behind closed doors, and we could get back to playing in front of partial crowds earlier than anticipated.
“AFC will, of course, be guided by Government advice and the guidelines from the footballing authorities.
“With the opening league game only four weeks away, we are now making preparations for matches at Pittodrie both behind closed doors and with a reduced capacity, initially allowing access for 7,500 season ticket holders, assuming one metre social distancing.
“The club is working tirelessly to make all the necessary arrangements for both games behind closed doors and those with partial crowds.
“We’ve never had a situation like this before and it’s clear this is going to be a logistical challenge for our ticket office.
“For example, having family members sitting together will help maximise access.
“At this time we ask for understanding and patience as we try to do our best to accommodate as many season ticket holders as possible.”
The first 7,500 season ticket sales for the 2020/21 season will be given priority for limited access games.
With 6,700 already sold there are only 800 remaining season tickets left that would guarantee access to Pittodrie.
Should capacity end up being below 7,500 then priority points will be used as the fairest way to determine who gets access.
For every season ticket sold after Aberdeen have reached 7,500, the holder will be given priority as access is increased.
It will essentially be a ‘first come, first served’ system where season ticket number 7,501 will have priority over the person with 7,502 and so on.
Due to reduced capacity, however, the ‘save your seat’ scheme will only apply to games with full crowds.
Before season ticket holders are allowed entry to Pittodrie they will also be able to watch live streams of the home matches.
Premiership clubs have agreed a streaming deal with Sky Sports to allow them to show games to season tickets holders until supporters are allowed to return.
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack is hopeful fans can be admitted partially to Pittodrie at the end of September or start of October.
Cormack tweeted: “May now only be a few home games behind closed doors. Four home games takes us through September.
“This latest information is in line with what we heard from Dr. Jason Leitch on the SPFL call today… but of course it’s no guarantee!”
National Clinical Director Professor Leitch recently confirmed the Scottish government has had ‘early conversations’ about test events with fans in stadia.
However following a fresh meet with Scottish footballs governing bodies this week he said he would ‘maybe pencil in’ October for the phased return of fans.
Professor Leitch said: “I simply cannot predict when crowds will be back. I can predict that it will not be soon. It will be phased.
“I had another conversation on Wednesday with the leadership of the SFA and the SPFL and some club leadership. I have suggested in media in the last few days, perhaps October.
“I would maybe pencil it in to your calendar but I certainly wouldn’t write over it in pen.”
Aberdeen confirmed a first team player tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week following mandatory twice weekly testing.
The unnamed player, who is asymptomatic, was immediately sent home to self-isolate for two weeks.
Aberdeen confirmed no other players, management or staff at Cormack Park tested positive at the club’s Cormack Park training ground.
“May now only be a few home games behind closed doors”. Four home games takes us through September. This latest information is in line with what we heard from Dr. Jason Leitch on the SPFL call today… but of course it’s no guarantee!
— Dave Cormack (@CormackDavie) July 1, 2020
They are confident rigorous safety measures and regular testing regime in place will ensure the positive Covid-19 test is a one off isolated incident.
English football has experienced 19 positive tests since mid-May but the Premier League and Championship are still up and running.
The Premiership remains on course for the August 1 restart but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged against putting too much credence on an October return for fans.
The First Minister said: “I want to clarify. Football with crowds has not been pencilled in for October, we have not taken that decision yet.
“Do not take from that we have given October as a provisional date for crowds being back – that is not the case.”