The top two men at Dundee FC have snapped up a prime piece of city land in a £1.2 million deal.
And the Tele can reveal that the US pair could use the Kingsway site, near Camperdown, to build a new stadium for the Dark Blues.
That would end the club’s 117-year stay at Dens Park, and the city’s renown for having two senior clubs in one street.
However, it could be several years before any stadium is built.
Dundee were keeping tight-lipped today, but sources have indicated that a new stadium is in the club’s thoughts as part of a seven-year development plan.
Chairman Tim Keyes and managing director John Nelms are the sole directors of Dark Blue Property Holdings Ltd., the company that purchased the site.
The sale was registered on July 19. They bought the land from Vico Camperdown Ltd.
It is understood that, although plans are yet to be drawn up, a stadium of up to 17,000 capacity could be in the pipeline.
Kenny Ross, chairman of the Dundee Supporters’ Association, welcomed the news. He said: “From a fan perspective this is great news for the club.
“As a fans group we would support anything the American investors decide to do, as long as it is for the betterment of the club as a whole.
“Since the day Nelms and Keyes walked through the door they have transformed the way this club is run.
“They have brought professionalism and ambition back to the club.”
He said it would be a shame to leave Dens but it’s not fit for purpose.
“Don’t get me wrong, it would be a real shame to leave Dens Park, but progress is what life is all about,” he said. “There is a unique footballing history in Dundee. The clubs’ stadiums are so close, which is why our rivalry is so special.
“But Dens has run its course as a football stadium of a top-flight club.
“There are major problems with the south enclosure and the main stand, although an integral part of this football club’s history, is almost 100 years old.
“The Americans have taken the emotional attachment out of this. They see what stadiums are like in the US — and the difference here is remarkable.”
The site is located immediately to the west of Camperdown Leisure Park where Dundee Ice Arena and Cineworld are situated. There is easy access off the Kingsway to the site.
Mr Ross added: “Location is key with these things. The last thing the fans would want is for the stadium to move out of the city, although Dens is hardly in the best place in the city anyway. From a fans’ perspective I would hope any new stadium would have character, not just look like a Lego model, like many grounds in Scotland.”
He added that having a purpose-build football stadium in the city might help Dundee to produce more international-standard players.
The news comes just weeks after detailed plans and drawings for Dundee’s new £17m sports centre were released.
The Regional Performance Centre for Sport, in the city’s Caird Park, will provide a major and significant venue for sport in Tayside.
Located adjacent to it will be the Caird Park Training Ground, which will become the training base for Dundee FC.
It’s hoped the centre and training ground will be ready for use in 2018.
The Dark Blues currently use Manhattan Works and the Dundee University pitches at Riverside for training.
Dundee City Council said the primary aim was to raise the profile of Dundee as a centre for sporting excellence.
Margaret Scrimgeour, 72, a retired laboratory worker from Menzieshill, said: “The land would be a bit unsuitable as it’s a bit out the way.
“But at the same time it would be good for that area.”
Mark Thomson, 54, an IT worker from Broughty Ferry, said: “There’s too much invested in Dens Park for Dundee to move.
“A lot of teams have tried it in the past and that’s led to opposition from the fans.”
Mark Cooper, 44, a council worker from the city centre, said: “It would create as many issues as it would solve. The great thing about the Dundee teams is that they are so close to each other and that has made it a great historic rivalry.”
William Ogilvie, 50, a bus driver from Coldside, said: “It depends on how much they would spend on a stadium. It would need to be a big investment to match the resources of the bigger clubs. It might need to be a multi-sports arena.”