New supporter survey reveals fans fears over Kingsford move
A survey created for Aberdeen FC supporters to express their opinions on the club’s looming stadium move has gathered almost 1,000 responses and a polarisation of views this week.
Conducted by Twitter account @AberdeenStadium, the survey portrays a divided fan base with just 47% of respondents definitely in favour of the move to Kingsford.
A further 27% responded as in favour but with doubts while 16% are a certain no and 7% are against it but could yet be convinced.
Somewhat concerning for officials at the club, the survey shows more supporters have swayed against the move than for it in the past 12 months. While they can be reassured that 56% responded that they were, and remain, pro-Kingsford, an upsurge of positivity would have been far more encouraging.
Dave Cormack, the newly appointed Vice Chairman of Aberdeen FC, recently spoke of the necessity for the club to be more transparent with supporters in an interview with Michael Grant of the Times. Justifying his comments, 29% of responding supporters still do not believe the club when they insist that Pittodrie cannot be redeveloped with a 20,000 capacity.
Moreover, 50% of Dons fans claim that the apparent impossibility of redeveloping Pittodrie has not been explained enough generally.
Exploring the potential attendance at Kingsford, 23% responded that they’re less likely to attend than they would at Pittodrie against 21% who would be more likely to attend. The most popular reasons for the likeliness to attend more is the possibility of a better stadium with an enhanced atmosphere, safe-standing and ease of access.
Contrastingly, supporters less likely to attend Kingsford over Pittodrie state that the biggest downfalls will be the increase of travel time, the change of normalised routine and the sanitisation of the football club.
On travel, only 20% fans stated that the current shuttle bus plan for Kingsford is adequate with 33% inadequate and the remainder understandably undecided. For adequacy to improve, supporters earmarked more busses, more routes and free ticket fares- similar to the schemes existing in Germany.
In terms of the stadium design, a resounding 87% of respondents stated that Kingsford should include safe-standing which is around 10% higher than when Dons Supporters Together asked the same question back in 2016 in the last supporter-led stadium survey.
Club officials are believed to be supportive of calls for safe-standing, also known as rail-seating, and in the summer said they were “seriously” considering it for Kingsford. Celtic FC currently have an area of 2,600 rail seats in their stadium.
In a similar theme, 82% of fans want a dedicated ‘home end’ with 65% of these keen for the famous Beach End of yesteryear to be replicated with the area being behind the goal.
Despite alcohol being blamed for supporter misconduct as recent as this season, a large majority of Dons fans, 85%, would like alcohol to be sold within concourses at the new stadium. This would mirror the rules in England which Aberdeen fans experienced in their trip to Burnley in August.
Full and comprehensive results of the survey, which gathered responses of 973 supporters, can be found at @AberdeenStadium on Twitter.