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Council confirms new Aberdeen stadium would be ‘dependent’ on Dons paying for it

A new Aberdeen stadium at Aberdeen beach could be in jeopardy
The new Aberdeen FC stadium would be "dependent" on the Dons paying for it. Image: Roddie Reid/DCT Media

Council top brass have confirmed that any new Dons stadium at Aberdeen beach would be “dependent” on the football club paying for it.

The idea of the Reds relocating from Pittodrie to a nearby seafront spot has become increasingly popular among supporters.

It has been tipped to bring the city a “billion-pound boost”, and the club has been clear that an element of public funding would be expected.

Initially, it appeared as though Aberdeen City Council would help to fund the new ground as part of its beach masterplan.

But last month, the SNP and Liberal Democrat administration revealed it had no intention of stumping up any cash.

Today's Evening Express splashed the rising tensions between Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen FC on funding for the new beach stadium. Image: Clarke Cooper/DC Thomson.
The Evening Express splashed the rising tensions between Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen FC on funding for the new beach stadium in November. Image: Clarke Cooper/DC Thomson.

‘Stadium can only happen if Aberdeen FC pays for it’

And now, a long-awaited report going before councillors next week will cement that position.

The dossier, penned by chief commercial officer Craig Innes, comes after an outline business case for the stadium was completed.

Mr Innes confirms that the wider beachfront plan would have “sufficient capacity for
a standalone stadium to be included”.

But he adds: “This is dependent on the capital investment for the stadium being provided by Aberdeen Football Club.”

Aberdeen FC have ruled out staying at Pittodrie as the club seeks a new home. Image: Shutterstock

Communication between club and council ongoing

The report states that there has been “continued engagement” with the club about the scheme, to “assess synergies” that the stadium could have with the rest of the seaside revamp.

It continues: “The council has formally written to AFC to establish funding and have received reply.

“The recommendation at this time is to ensure provision for the stadium to be considered should AFC progress with their funding options for the beach.”

Dons chairman Dave Cormack previously described such inquiries as “premature”.

Stadium plans could have ‘impact’ on new Aberdeen ice rink

However, councillors have been told that the fate of the stadium will “impact” the council’s plans for a new leisure centre as part of the coastal regeneration project.

If the stadium goes ahead, then it would be expected to “overlap” with the centre in certain shared areas.

The new seaside leasiure facility would replace the Linx ice arena and leisure centre. Image: Kenny Elrick/DCT Media

Mr Innes added: “This includes a decision on whether the stadium and leisure facility become a combined facility.”

The facility mentioned would replace the Linx Ice Arena and Beach Leisure Centre.

The latest blow to the Dons comes after co-leaders Ian Yuill and Alex Nicoll last month told the P&J they were “not in the business of putting council money into football stadiums”. 

Councillors will discuss the report at a meeting on Wednesday, December 14.

Aberdeen FC have been approached for comment.

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