Dons boss Derek McInnes believes the test return of fans to Pittodrie is reward for the Red Army’s loyalty during the Covid-19 crisis.
Aberdeen’s home clash with Kilmarnock on Saturday will be attended by 300 supporters after the Scottish Government gave the go-ahead for two pilot matches this weekend.
Ross County’s home game against Celtic will also be played in front of 300 fans.
The two Premiership matches will be the first in front of supporters since Scottish football shut down due to the pandemic on March 13. A ballot will be held to determine the Dons season ticket-holders who can attend.
Aberdeen hope the successful return of fans this weekend will lead to an increase to 750 for the next home match against Motherwell on Sunday September 20.
In another boost for Dons fans, the club’s commercial director Rob Wicks hopes some supporters will be able to attend the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic at Hampden on October 31.
McInnes said: “It is reward for the fans’ perseverance and loyalty.
“It is reward for their support of the club through what has been a very difficult time.
“It is brilliant news and a step in the right direction.
“We don’t want to get used to no fans in the stadium, which we have had recently.
“It is a test case and, if we can jump through these hurdles successfully, then hopefully we will have more fans in for the next home game.
“Then we can start to get back to where we want to be.
“To be able to see supporters physically in the stadium will help everyone no end.”
A limited section of the South Stand will be opened up for the pilot match on Saturday.
Access will be allocated via a ballot, which closes at 5pm today, with supporters who purchased their season tickets within the first 7,500 before July 10 given priority.
It is expected that test events will run for a number of weeks, with the hope supporter numbers can gradually increase if tests are successful.
Following an update from the Scottish Government, Saturday’s test event at Pittodrie will be for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire-based season ticket holders only.
Wicks said: “This will be the first game with fans at Pittodrie for six months so there’s a lot to look forward to.
“There’s no point in my mind of using the loyalty point system or anything like that, this has to be a completely transparent and simple process where if you’re available at the weekend, you put your hat in the ring and find out by Thursday if you can go to the match.
“We’re at a point now where we can start to reward season ticket-holders for their loyalty.
“That’s critically important for us. It’s going to be a learning process for us as we find our way through the challenges of bringing fans back in a phased return.
“It’s terrific for Aberdeen to be one of the first clubs to offer a phased return of supporters. It’s a small number but it’s the start of that journey back now.
“There’s an incredibly rigorous plan been put in place.
“We’ve had strong commendations all the way through the Covid-19 pandemic, whether from the SPFL or SFA in terms of the work done behind the scenes.
“We’ve had a fantastic report following our game against the Faroese team from Uefa in terms of everything that had been done to prepare the stadium.”
Both Aberdeen and Ross County are ensuring supporters attending will be local to their areas to keep travel to a minimum.
Proposed pilot events involving Rangers and St Mirren will not go ahead following the extension of coronavirus restrictions in the west of Scotland.
Aberdeen and Ross County must provide a post-match report on operational delivery to inform guidance for future pilots.
Wicks said: “We’ll open a portion of the south stand and make it a proper trial. We want to see how it works for disabled supporters, somebody who arrives in a group, we’re going to have our SLO, additional stewards, to make sure this is a safe and positive experience for everyone.
“We’re going to be using the away entrance. It makes it easier and a lot more practical.
“The goal for us is to make sure that Saturday goes really well, that the next time we have the opportunity for a larger trial that too will be successful.
“It is one thing managing it for 300 people, but let’s say we get to 7,500 or 9,000 people at some point, we have to be able to do it equally well for that number.”
Aberdeen have sold in excess of 7,500 season tickets.
No date has been confirmed for the general resumption of stadia events outlined in the Scottish Government route map out of the Covid-19 crisis.
However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will tomorrow make a full statement on stadia events.
Murrayfield staged a test event with spectators in August when Edinburgh hosted Glasgow Warriors in a PRO14 rugby union game.
Wicks hopes Premiership test events will be successful and open up the potential for some Aberdeen supporters to attend the Scottish Cup semi-final with Celtic at Hampden in October.
He said: “We are waiting for news on that (Scottish Cup semi-final) and we are hopeful.
“We would be encouraged if there was an opportunity.
“We have seen the successful SRU trial starting to move positively towards getting fans back.
“The more success we have with these early-stage trials, the more likelihood there is of seeing fans at the semi-final and the final as well.”