By Gregor Hynds
Stewart Milne has been looking to move Aberdeen FC for a while now. The Dons submitting their third proposal for a stadium move earlier this year. And may finally have a breakthrough.
Back in April 2009, the club was looking to move to a new 21,000 seated stadium, to sell off their current ground Pittodrie, in an attempt to rid of the clubs long standing debt. First considerations where considered to update the current stadium, but restrictions in the surrounding residential area and the age of the stadium made the board push for the new stadium. With King’s Links, near the current location being considered. This was a dead end as the land proved to be to expensive, and also limited the plans the board had for the surrounding area.
Fast forward to 2017 and the Dandie Dons are in the middle of fighting for their third proposal to move to the Kingsford area. Located in on the out-skirts of Aberdeen, with the plan being met with a lot of mixed reactions from the fans and from the Kingsford area. With an impending vote from the council already being delayed past October 11th.
A lot of fans have voiced their desire to stay a their historical home, situated in the city centre, with many feeling that the board isn’t considering the effect it will have on attendances. But on twitter fans have reacted to what the board should be doing to ensure the attendances don’t drop, with public transport being made more regularly available on match days.
In spite of this Stewart Milne has perused this move now for over six years. Thinking that this potential move to Kingsford could help the growth of the club, with the added training facilities. Which for Aberdeen is a huge deal, with players such as Ryan Fraser stating in the past that the facilities available down South where a big reason for him departing the Reds. George Yule supports this in his comment on a statement on the club website, “we cannot deliver this vision and provide a positive role model for young people without new facilities.”
But the No Kingsford Stadium group have provided stiff opposition, with the group believing that the new stadium could heavily disturb the current area, especially by bring increased traffic to the area. Also the group in a press release back in 2016 stated that they have concerns over the increased pollution and noise that will be brought to the Westhill area.
But a few weeks ago the AFC board removed the proposal and resubmitted it, with more detail on the economic benefits that the will bring to the surrounding area. The board from Aberdeen will be looking for a final answer in the early stages of 2018, with a public consultation being held in the build up to Christmas.
The new proposal heavily places on the increase of construction jobs being brought to the area. On top of that, with more facilities their will also be a demand for long term jobs being made available by Aberdeen FC. But not all mention in the proposal has gone down well, with people believing that to much is focused on less important issues.
It’s still a long journey for Aberdeen FC in their battle for a move away from Pittodrie, but the board that this new submission will be the final step to get them past the No Kingsford Group, who have stifled the board to date. Hopefully a long battle over the past six years the plans for a new stadium will finally passed.