‘The Dons’ put stadium work in cold storage



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Aberdeen Stadium May 2020 update Image: Aberdeen FC

COVID-19 is already costing Aberdeen FC millions. Now, the club has decided to hold off their largest project. Their new 20,000-capacity stadium (Kingsford complex) might not go on stream soon or the capacity of the venue might come down.

Aberdeen Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in Aberdeen, Scotland. They compete in the Scottish Premiership and have never been relegated from the top division of the Scottish football league system since they were promoted in 1905.

The new Aberdeen stadiumKingsford Stadium – is a football stadium under construction in Kingswells, Aberdeen, Scotland. The new stadium will be the residence of Aberdeen FC and will replace their existing home ground Pittodrie Stadium. Pittodrie Stadium is an all-seater stadium in Aberdeen, Scotland, and is the home ground of Aberdeen FC.

Premature end of the season in Scottish football and not allowing fans inside stadiums for 2020-21 has dealt a severe blow to the entire league. Plagued by problems and overshadowed by Premier League already prior to the pandemic, the league’s members are facing dire perspectives in the coming months.

Aberdeen FC Chairman Dave Cormack acknowledged this has to have direct bearing on the club’s plans in the immediate future. With players already facing pay cut and projected shortfall in the short term at £5 million, it is anybody’s guess that a big hole will be burnt.

“If it costs us 4, 5, 6 or £10 million to get through this as a club, which takes money from other things we might want to do, whether it be Kingsford or investments in the football operation. Our number one priority is surviving. Once we do that, we will take a deep breath, sleep on it and then give our perspective,” Cormack stated.

Taking everything into consideration, Aberdeen FC has declared that they will not go ahead with their stadium relocation scheme. The second phase of the Kingsford complex (first is the training complex delivered in 2018-2019), which is the new main stadium for 20,000 people, will not be realized any time soon.

The stadium was supposed to be redesigned from its initial 2016-18 form by international design practice AFL Architects, going by the contract signed last year. This summer consultation was due to begin on facilities the fans would like to see, but this also seems to be off the calendar right now looking at the worsening coronavirus crisis.

The initial cost of the stadium was estimated to cost £50 million (€57.25m). This might end up scaled down right now, at least as an interim measure. This was hinted by Commercial Director Rob Wicks.

“We are still firmly committed to the new stadium for all the reasons we have stated previously but we have to be realistic. The unexpected financial challenges that have been brought up as a result of the pandemic means we are going to have to look really carefully at our plans and assess that with the timing of the move.”

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