Football fans in Aberdeen are anxiously awaiting news about the fate of their club and its proposed stadium goals. The most recent reports suggest that the club may cease operating locally if Aberdeen City Council does not approve the £50 million stadium plan now on the table.
The controversial plan recently approved by the Pittodrie board last week calls for leaving the club's current home and relocating to new facilities to be built in six miles away in Kingsford. However, critics of the plan would rather see the club renovate their Pittodrie home instead. With the impasse, there is no telling what will happen.
Aberdeen's woes are by no means exclusive to their club. Throughout Europe, football clubs are looking to upgrade stadiums or build new homes to keep up with 21st-century standards. Corporate hospitality is a significant influence here. In fact, it's a big enough influence that teams can no longer afford to ignore it.
Professional Sport is Expensive
There's no way around the fact that professional sport has become an expensive proposition. Owning and operating a top-tier football club like Aberdeen requires a tremendous investment in player salaries, marketing, stadium upkeep, and an extensive list of expenses tied to labour and overheads.
Sales of corporate hospitality suites do a lot to support the financial needs of top-tier clubs. Indeed, the amount of revenue corporate hospitality generates is such that every new stadium project includes plans for expanded sport hospitality suites and amenities. Without strong hospitality offerings, teams simply cannot compete in the modern environment.
Sport Hospitality Needs Space
In Aberdeen's case, Pittodrie doesn't offer adequate corporate sport hospitality facilities.
There isn't the room to expand, the stadium is locked in a residential neighbourhood that limits its size. With no more room to build out, club owners believe trying to renovate the stadium to bring it up to modern standards is neither viable nor a good use of funds.
Here's hoping that the club and Aberdeen City Council can work out their differences to keep the team in Aberdeen. If not, club owners say they have no plan to fall back on.
Not being able to build new facilities in Kingsford would virtually guarantee that the Dons would leave the city altogether. That's an outcome nobody wants to spend too much time thinking about, knowing how important football is to Aberdeen fans.
- Scottish Daily Record – http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/aberdeen-could-cease-exist-50m-9723811
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