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John Nelms sets ambitious 2024 target date for new Dundee stadium – and makes groundshare pledge to fans

Dundee managing director John Nelms has set a target date for construction of the club's new stadium.
Dundee managing director John Nelms has set a target date for construction of the club's new stadium.

Dundee chief John Nelms says his goal is to see the Dark Blues playing in a new stadium at Camperdown Park in 2024.

Last week, the managing director announced the “next step” in securing a new home away from Dens Park had begun.

And, in a sit-down interview with Courier Sport, Nelms revealed his target – to be in their new ground – is just over two years down the line.

He also covered the prospect of a groundshare, financing the project, planning permission and their current home, Dens Park.


After work began on the idea of a new stadium back in 2017, the big question has been when it might ever become reality.

Now, five years down the line, Nelms wants to see Dundee playing in their new home in the 2024/25 season.

Dundee managing director John Nelms.

Nelms said: “There is a timescale but unfortunately the timescale is not just mine. It is the city’s timescale and all the other studies.

“Ideally, we would like to be in the stadium in the 2024 season – that’s our goal.

“That’s what I am pushing everybody to get to.

“I am a bit hesitant to tell everybody that is the date it is going to happen but that’s the date we are pushing for.”


Plenty fans have been sceptical over the plans with a number of stadium updates over the years but no sign of building work beginning next to the Kingsway.

Nelms has pledged this update to be different, however.

He said: “I 100% understand the scepticism.

“We use the word ‘frustration’ as we have been going at this since 2017/18.

“This is an investment (the land) but it has just been sitting there so we need to get this thing moving.

“As I said, I can 100% understand the scepticism – it is painful but these things take time.

“So we have to get this thing rolling and that’s what we have done.”


Things were originally delayed due to the finance of the new complex not being in place.

Then the pandemic hit and plans were set back once more.

Now, though, the Dundee managing director says funding is in place to finally start moving.

As well as the 15,000-seater stadium, the plans include a training facility for the club, a hotel, retail space, a conference venue, a crematorium, housing and leisure activities.

“We are much further forward with that (finance) and that’s why we kicked the project off,” Nelms said.

“We are now comfortable with the options that we have in finance.

The suggested layout of Dundee FC's proposed new stadium at Camperdown.
Original plans for Dundee’s new stadium at Camperdown Park.

“We have spent a lot of time in London and some of the funding options that were not afforded to us early doors are afforded to us now.

“We have eight meetings coming up with funders for different aspects of the stadium project.

“So once we got comfortable with that, we got all the consultants back together and on March 16 we had a kick-off meeting.

“All the consultants started to put together what they needed to do to get our full application in.”

Planning permission

Nelms added: “We are going for planning in principle because we have several elements to the site that are so different from each other.

“Everything kind of feeds into the stadium construction itself.

“So we have to make sure all the elements work together.

“So for example, from the stadium to housing to crematorium, they have planning aspects that have different requirements.

“Therefore we get an overall, broad view but then we go in for full planning on those elements.

“For planning in principle, it will probably take between six months and a year.”

Dens Park

Part of the plans will see the club’s current home bought back from local businessman John Bennett, to whom Dundee pay rent to remain at Dens Park.

“We have an agreement with John Bennett to purchase this stadium but I can’t really talk about that,” Nelms confirmed.

Dens Park

The land would then be sold to help finance part of the new investment at Camperdown.

The Courier revealed last year that a potential groundshare option was being considered should the new stadium not be ready by the time that happened.

That has sparked fear among supporters that their club could be left as a kind of footballing nomad without their own stadium to play in.

However, the American has pledged Dundee “will never be without a home”.

On the groundshare option, Nelms added: “That all has to do with timing of funding.

“We would not even consider it until the stadium was started.

“But it is a timing thing.

“We will never be without a home.

“We might need to share very temporarily while the new stadium is being built.

“Some people think that we would leave this ground before we had that ready to go. But that doesn’t make any sense to us.

“We will have a home to go to.”


Tannadice, the home of Dundee’s fiercest rivals Dundee United.

St Johnstone or possibly Arbroath had been mooted but Nelms says options are open – and that could include Tannadice.

He said: “All of our options are open but we are not there yet.

“We have had some ideas and thoughts.

“But that’s only if things happen – there are potentially some bridging loans that could happen but maybe not if we don’t have to do it.

“What’s the cost of that, what’s the cost of ground sharing?

“We have to take all these things into account before we go ‘that’s what we are going to do’.

“So we may not need to groundshare but we might have to.

“Either way, that is already in motion.”