In 2016, Aberdeen Football Club released more details of its plans to create a focal point for community engagement and footballing excellence on land at Kingsford on the outskirts of Aberdeen.
The Club revealed proposals to develop a new community and sports campus, football academy and stadium on the site.
Creating a 21st century stadium, modern training facilities for its first team and youth academy, and dedicated facilities for the AFC Community Trust are vital for the Club to achieve a sustainable future and to maximise its contribution to the city and region on and off the pitch.
The Club’s plans for its 25 hectare Kingsford site include:
- three professional training pitches;
- two community 3G pitches;
- community pavilion to include changing facilities;
- a gymnasium and multi-purpose space with a potential community learning zone;
- new stadium with up to 20,000-seat capacity;
- a fan-zone
- a Aberdeen FC club store;
- AFC Heritage Museum and Memorial garden;
- circa 1,600 car parking spaces;
- bus parking and drop-off areas;
The Kingsford development will deliver essential, modern training facilities and a stadium that provides an enhanced match-day and non match-day experiences. These will support the ambitions of the Club and its fans, further the award-winning work done in the local community by the AFC Community Trust and provide wider economic and social benefits to the city and region.
In developing its plans, the Club has listened to its fans and other stakeholders and looked at best in class facilities in stadia across the UK and Europe.
The single tier, fully enclosed stadium will dramatically improve atmosphere, while minimising visual impact on the surrounding area. Much more comfortable and accessible, the stadium and its concourse areas, and the wider site facilities will offer a much better match-day experience for everyone, from young to old – encouraging greater family attendance and providing a beacon for the fans of the future.
More significantly for the profile of the region, Kingsford will be the largest new-build stadium in Scotland in 100 years.
George Yule, Executive Vice Chairman of AFC, said: “What makes our Club so enduring is the fact that we play such an important role in our community. The glories of our past and solid footing of our present cannot sustain the Club in the future and that is why we embarked on a new journey some four years ago – a journey that will take us to long-term success and sustainability, on and off the pitch.
“Having achieved our initial milestones, the Club is now in the best shape it has been for many years. We are demonstrating significant strength on and off the pitch with our first team, our youth development programme, our robust financial position and our fantastic work in the community.
“Our vision for the future is one which can be shared among our fans, the team and backroom staff, our partners and sponsors and among the wider community in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Realising our plans for Kingsford is the critical step in our exciting journey to achieve UEFA top 100 status with a highly successful squad, a wider than ever reach into the community, world-class training facilities and a modern stadium, all within a prosperous and healthy region.
“It is also a significant investment and a signal of confidence in the city and region at a time when the public and private sectors are working to address major economic challenges. Our vision can therefore be summed up as achieving the feel-good factor for all by ensuring that the Club’s impact is the best it can be on the pitch, in economic terms and in the community,” said Mr Yule.
Mr Yule added: “For the first time, we will be able to bring together our off the pitch and on the pitch operations, including our training facilities, allowing us to deliver a real step-change in experience for our players and our fans, as well as for the wider community. This will also support a step-change for the Club in terms of operational and business performance.
“In essence, we will be providing a stadium that supports our ambition and meets the expectations of our fans alongside out-standing community sports facilities; an educational, training, social, and recreational resource; and an employment and community hub. Kingsford will be a focal point for community engagement and footballing excellence for the north of Scotland and an inspiration for future generations of local youngsters.”