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Villa Park


Club: Aston Villa FC Opening: 1897 Capacity: 42,785 seats

In the late 19th century, Villa Park was part of a pleasure ground that consisted of a football and cricket pitch, athletics track, and a small grandstand. Aston Villa at that time still played their home matches at the Perry Barr ground, but in 1897 moved to the superior Villa Park.

Before they moved in, they had already built a new main stand and accompanied this with open terracing on the remaining sides. The stadium was bowl-shaped back then, and could hold about 40,000 people.

Aston Villa opened their new ground on the 17th of April 1897 with a friendly match against Blackburn Rovers (3-0).

In the next two decades Villa Park got gradually expanded, and in 1913 lost its bowl shape when the cycling track got removed. Plans were made to expand the stadium to a capacity of 130,000, but the First World War brought these to a halt.

Works continued after the war though, and were concluded in 1923 when the new Trinity Road Stand opened. At that time the stadium could hold about 80,000 people.

Villa Park recorded its highest attendance in 1946 when 76,588 people attended a match against Derby County.

In the next decades only smaller changes were made, which included cover for the Holte End and a refurbishment of the Witton Lane Stand in 1964.

Villa Park was one of the playing venues of the 1966 World Cup, hosting three group matches.

The stadium underwent a next change in 1976 when a new North Stand opened in place of the Witton Lane End. The new stand led to heavy debts though, and no further changes were made until the 1990s.

In 1993 the new Doug Ellis Stand opened, followed by the demolition and reconstruction of the Holte End. The transformation of the stadium into an all-seater was completed when the North Stand got fitted with seats.

Villa Park hosted three group matches and a quarter-final during the1996 European Championships.

In 1999, it hosted the last ever European Cup Winners Cup final between Real Mallorca and Lazio Roma (1-2).

In 2000, the classic Trinity Road stand from the 1920s got demolished and replaced by a new stand. In recent years tentative plans have been made to expand the stadium to a capacity of 50,000 by rebuilding the North Stand, but its is unlikely that these will be executed any time soon.

(photos of the present Villa Park below)

Villa Park is located toward the north of the city of Birmingham at approximately 2.5 miles from the city centre.

If arriving by car from outside the city, the stadium is best reached from the M6 motorway. Take exit 6 and follow the signs for the A38 (not the A38M). On the island turn right (A5127), and follow the signs to Villa Park.

If coming from the east, one can also take exit 7 from the same motorway, and then follow the A34 south for a few miles. Passing Alexandra Stadium make sure to stay in the nearside lane and leave the carriageway before the flyover. Follow the signs for matchday parking.

If using public transport, the stadium is best reached bytrain. Aston Station and Witton Station are just a short train ride away from Birmingham New Street Station. Witton Station is closest, a 5-minute walk to the stadium, whereas it takes 15 minutes to walk from Aston Station.

Alternatively, the stadium is served bybus7 and 11. Bus 7 leaves from Upper Bull Street in the city centre.

Address: Trinity Road, Birmingham, B6 6HE

Villa Park is located in a typical English urban area. This means that there are a few pubs around as well as some easy eating options, though if you have more time on your hands, Birminghams city centre might be a better option.

If you arrive by car, you could stop at theStar Cityshopping centre just off exit 6 of the M6. It has the typical food outlets you tend to find at a shopping centre as well as various entertainment options. The nightlife in Birminghams city centre is mostly located west and south of Birmingham New Street Station.

There are few hotels in the immediate vicinity of the stadium. TheHoliday Inn Expresslocated across Star City shopping centre is probably closest, but is mostly convenient if you get in by car. You can about just walk to the stadium from there.

Further toward the centre, there are aCampanile HotelandPremier Inn. They are affordable and get good reviews, but are again most of all convenient for those arriving by car. If travelling by public transport, it is likely best to find a hotel in Birminghams centre, and take a bus or train to the match.

For all hotels near Villa Park clickhere. For all options in the city centre gohere.

Tickets for Aston Villa matches can be boughtonline, by phone +44 (0) 800 6120 970, or at the Villa Village store at Villa Park.

Tickets can also be bought at the same store before the start of the match. Aston Villa only very occasionally sell out.

Aston Villa have divided their home games in three pricing categories. Tickets for category A matches, the most expensive, range in price from 25.00 for a lower-tier seat at the North Stand to 45.00 for a central seat at one of the long sides. Tickets for category VV matches, the cheapest, range in price from 20.00 to 37.00.

Aston Villa organise guided stadium tours. Tours run three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays, and selected Sundays. Tours do not run on matchdays, the afternoon before, or the morning after a match. They generally start at 10:30 in the morning.

Tours cost 12.95, and can be upgraded with a lunch on Sundays. Tours can be bookedonline, or by phone +44 (0) 800 612 0970.

Londonmidland.com Check train times and buy tickets.

Networkwestmidlands.com Bus maps, timetables, and journey planner.

Villa Park .. its unique and holds a very special place the hearts of the football community , Its a very honest stadium and has stayed loyal to the English style of football ground, they could of gone down the same path as other Football clubs did , from the mid 90s there has been many symmetrical wrap around stands/stadiums that lack character and imagination ,

When it comes to atmosphere, few match Villa Park and the passionate supporters. To put it short. Villa Park is the grand old lady of football, not just here in England but worldwide . Founding fathers.

As a Villa fan of 40+ years, it has always felt special entering this great stadium. A full Holte End is a sight to behold, and when its in full song it takes some beating. A fitting ground for a great club!

villa park the best english stadium i have been to

pity they dont have team to go with it

Ive been on most of the big grounds, old and new, but give me Villa Park any time. Which is hard to admit as a Baggie Boy!

The Home the Birthplace of League Football. The first stadium in to host England international fixtures in three different centuriesthis place is THE stadium.

A club followed by Prime Ministers and Kings, its tempting to wax lyrical about the Football Club itself alas now is not the time to talk about Aston Villas many sporting achievements lets instead focus on why this ancient ground is of universal significance. Other grounds rightly claim their own histories but no club ground can claim Villa Parks history: quite simply this is the birthplace of the worlds most popular sporting competition and format.

For any fan of any club around the world that plays and enjoys league football, Villa Park is worth a visit. This is the birthplace of YOUR game, this is where the game as we know it burst into life

(For those interested, look into William McGregor and delve deep into Villa and football history.)

A true british traditional football ground with a great atmosphere. Every stand is different and stands alone with its own character . The sheer size and noise of the holte end really does have to be experienced.

Ive Visited every premier league ground following United and Villa Park is by far the best. It has character, history and a certain look to it that stands out. You can create a excellent atmosphere in the away end and the view is quality. Villa fans can be loud on occasions.

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