Villa Park has an enormous amount of history and has been home to the club since 1897. It's hosted 55 FA Cup semi finals, more than any other ground. There is a proposal at present to increase capacity from 42,000 up to 50,000. This would involve filling in the corners of the North stand. Interestingly, the plan was based around England's bid to host the World Cup. So it'll be interesting to see if plans are shelved as is now expected.
Away fans are allocated both the upper and lower tiers at one end of the Doug Ellis stand. There is a good selection of food available including pies, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish and chips and even now a selection of halal food. Views are very good from all areas.
Villa Park seating plan:
Near to the ground is a pub which is split half and half between home and away supporters and has it's own room and entrance for visiting fans. It is called the Cap and Gown. There is however an admission fee of £1. The pub is at the end of the road at the side of the ground, when facing the away end, it is on your right. There are many other pubs in the local vicinity but as mentioned, they seem to be members only.
Car parking is limited in and around the stadium. We were lucky enough to park in the official club car park but were only seeing a reserve game so interest was minimal. There are many residential roads around although in previous experience, it may be easier to park on the far side of Aston Park and walk through.
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The nearest / closest train stations to Aston Villa's Villa Park are Aston and Witton mainline railway stations which are within walking distance of the ground. Both stations are around a 10 minute train journey from Birmingham's main rail station of Birmingham New Street. Witton railway station is approximately 5 minutes walk from Villa Park and is the closer of the 2. A left turn out of the station and left again at the roundabout and the stadium will soon come into view.
Rivals - Birmingham City, West Brom, Wolves
Travel: We were visiting relatives who live in Sutton Coldfield and drove up on the Saturday before the game. Aside from the miles and miles of roadworks on the A14 and M6, there were few issues. On the day of the game, we parked at the Power League which, at £7.50, is pricey but also fairly close to the ground.
Refreshments: We headed to the Barton Arms before the game and it is a fine public house, with Oakham’s Ales on tap. The vast majority of home fans were really friendly and congratulated us on promotion.
Impressions: Villa Park is one of the best grounds in the country, which feels steeped in tradition and history. We were in the lower tier of the away end, fairly close to the halfway line and, despite only being six rows from the front, we had a very good view of the game.
Atmosphere: Norwich wrapped up the title by ending Aston Villa’s 12-game unbeaten run and extending their own to 14. Villa had rested several key players, including Jack Grealish, Tammy Abraham, Tyrone Mings and John McGinn with the play-offs in mind. The changes appeared to show after just five minutes when Teemu Pukki notched his 30th goal of the season from Onel Hernández’s pull-back after City had carved through the Villa defence. In fairness, the weakened Villans equalised through a really sloppy set-piece goal from a Norwich perspective as Jonathan Kodjia turned a deep free-kick past Tim Krul. Despite several backup Villa players impressing, Norwich were not to be denied the three points. Five minutes from the end, Jamal Lewis drove from inside his own half into space before teeing up Mario Vran?i? on the edge of the area whose right-footed shot arrowed into the bottom corner to send the 2,800 Norwich fans into delirium. The title was secured and, with Sheffield United only drawing at Stoke, we had extended our winning margin to 5 points. The atmosphere was fairly good from Norwich fans although the lower tier is quite open so a lot of the noise escapes, while it was clear that Villa fans were looking forward to/were very nervous for their playoff match with West Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion next week. The Villa fans that stayed for the trophy presentation applauded our team and fair play to them - they’ve finally seen the trophy their club has been trying to buy for the past 3 years! ;-) The stewarding at Villa Park was really relaxed; the only thing that they cared about was that we did not stage a pitch invasion after winning the league. The lower tier concourse is relatively spacious but, despite going down to the bar to get a beer before the half time whistle, I did not manage to get served in the 15 minute interval even with only moderately busy queues.
Exit: It took a little while for the sellout crowd of 42000 to disperse as you can imagine. Because we had our trophy presentation and subsequent celebrations, we were at the back of the queue but after about 10 minutes of queueing at the lights, it was fairly plain sailing, if a bit stop-start, but when is it ever not like that in Birmingham?
Enjoy: The title in the bag and a first win for Norwich at Villa Park since 1992… as a City fan, days don’t get too much better than this one.
Ground Name: Villa Park
Capacity: 42,640 (all seated)
Address: Villa Park, Trinity Rd, Birmingham B6 6HE
Main Tel no.: 0121 327 2299
Team Nickname: The Villans
Year Ground Opened: 1897
Fan Site: www.astonvilla.com
Online Shop: AVFC Photos