Aberdeen: Pittodrie capacity to reduce as club target better atmosphere

Aberdeen players
Aberdeen fought back to beat Hibernian 3-1 on Saturday as they target third place in the Scottish Premiership

Aberdeen will reduce the "operational capacity" of Pittodrie to 15,500 next season in a bid to improve the atmosphere on match-days.

The upper tier of the Richard Donald Stand will close while unallocated seating in the Merkland Stand, known as the Red Shed, will continue after a successful trial this term.

Chairman Dave Cormack says the move is "100% about atmosphere".

"We've had this criticism of Aberdeen," Cormack told BBC Scotland.

"We get teased by all the other fans about the sweetie wrappers being opened and being heard above the fans at the games.

"In shutting the top of the Richard Donald Stand, we're able to have much more of a bowl atmosphere, it will give the fans the ability to decorate that upper area and 15,500 is enough room to have filled everybody in every league game this season including away supporters."

The club also aim to increase sales of season tickets from 10,000 to 11,000 and club membership initiative AberDNA to 8,000 in its second campaign.

Cormack pledges the income produced will be "100% directed to the success of the football team".

"Football success is our number one priority," he said.

"We are the fifth-best supported team in Scotland in terms of season tickets and attendances.

"Season tickets deliver around £2m a year in income, with walk‐ups and away fans contributing £1m, and AberDNA about £1m. In total, that's almost half the football budget.

"We are challenging ourselves to increase season tickets from 10,000 to 11,000 for 2020-21 and drive AberDNA membership to 8,000. My promise is that this income is 100% directed towards the success of the football team."

Aberdeen sit fourth in the Scottish Premiership after Saturday's win over Hibernian, and face Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-finals next month.