Villa Park is a football stadium in Birmingham, England with a seating capacity of 42,788 which makes it the largest ground in the Midlands area. It has been home to Aston Villa F.C since 1897 and has hosted more FA cup semi-finals than any other stadium in England including Wembley.
Originally know as The Aston Lower Grounds, Villa Park is Aston Villa’s third stadium in the club’s history having previously played at local pitches at Aston Park (1874-1876 and Wellington Road (1876 -1897). The largest ground in the Midlands, it is famous for hosting over 55 semi-finals of the F.A Cup.
The first match held at the ground was a friendly against Blackburn Rovers on the 17th April 1897, and during Villa Park’s inaugural season crowds averaged at around 21,000. The new facilities matched the club’s impressive performances on the pitch, and by the start of the 1940s the club had won 6 First Division titles and 6 FA Cups.
With every major trophy won more money was invested into the facilities, and along with Everton’s Goodison Park, Villa’s stadium was regarded as one of the finest in the country. Archibald Leitch was consulted for a redesign but his plans were disrupted until the 1966 World Cup by the outbreak of the Second World War.
Today’s modern Villa Park is very much the legacy of former chairman Doug Ellis who oversaw the conversion of the stadium to all-seating after the events of Hillsborough. The Witton Lane Stand was built during the 1993-1994 season, The iconic Holte End a season afterwards and the main stand of the ground on Trinity Road Stand six years later in 2000.
Aston Villa currently have planning permission to rebuild the north stand which would increase the capacity to around 50,000. However due to a lack of European football, it doesn’t appear as if this will happen any time soon. This means that the modern attendance record set of 42,877 set against Liverpool on 29th December 2009 is unlikely to be beaten.
Below is a seating plan of Aston Villa’s Villa Park Stadium:
Villa Park is comprised of the following four sections: The North Stand, The Doug Ellis Stand (East), The Holte End (South) and Tthe Trinity Road Stand (West)
Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.
The Matchday Experience
Visiting supporters to Villa Park are housed within the northernmost section of the Doug Ellis Stand which runs for the length of the pitch on the east side. Named in honour of the club’s former Chairman, the stand consists of two distinct tiers, sandwiched between a layer of corporate hospitality.
Split between upper and lower, the standard allocation is around 28 seats shy of 3,000, although for matches with a smaller turnout, it is just the upper-tier which gets put to use. Above this sits the television gantry and commentators area.
The concourse within this section which is accessed by some quite steep stairs is quite cramped compared to the lower section, with a smaller amount of kiosks which results in a bigger queue for pints and pies.
Located around 2 miles from the city centre, Villa’s ground isn’t located in the poshest of areas and the handful of pubs around the ground such as The Aston Tavern are typically off-limits for away fans.
The closest pubs which are welcoming to away fans is The Witton Arms located 10-15 minutes north of the ground, and The Yew Tree just part Witton Railway Station. Entry is usually £2.00 and the police are usually on hand to ensure everyone has a decent day out.
If you are catching the train first into Birmingham then the city of centre has numerous boozers such as The Square Peg which is a very large Wetherspoons well placed between New Street and Snow Hill Stations.
If you are travelling by car the “Star City” entertainment complex may be worth a look. Only a mile and half from the ground there are numerous bars, restaurants and accommodation options. Inside the stadium itself alcohol is available to purchase including the likes of Carlsberg and Somersby Cider.
The most numerous food options at Villa Park are the food vans which park up on the roads leading to the ground. They tend to sell the same range of fast food options inside the concourses such as hotdogs, burgers and chips.
The “proper” fast-food stores where you’re more likely to get a kebab are all located 10 minutes north of the ground on Witton Road with the additional bonus of a large Tesco just past the roundabout. This is good for getting cash out and for getting something healthier like a meal deal.
Aston Villa operate two official club stores within Birmingham and Aston, as well as their own official online store.
Birmingham City Centre
- Monday to Saturday: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
- Sunday: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Villa Village Stadium Store
- Monday to Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Sunday: 10:00 am till 2:00 pm
Tours of Villa Park take place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays each month providing there are no matches occurring either on that day, the afternoon before or the morning after. Prices for listed below along with the option for lunch.
- Adults: £12.95 or £25.95 with lunch
- Children: £7.95 or £13.95 with lunch
- Family (2 Adults, 2 Children): £37.50 or £71.50 with lunch
Note: Lunch is only available on Sundays and is at the VMF restaurant which overlooks the Villa Park pitch. To arrange a tour you can either phone the club on 0800 612 0970 or visit the official website.
To book tickets see check out the official site, phone the club on +44 (0) 800 6120 970 or go down to the Villa Village Store in person to secure your tickets. As Villa Park is quite large, tickets can often be purchased on the day of the match as in recent seasons the stadium hasn’t often sold out.
Aston Villa tickets fall into one of three price structures with adult prices shown below as an illustrative example:
- Category A: £25.00 – £45.00
- Category B: £23.00 – £42.00
- Category C: £20.00 – £37.00
Prices are obviously cheaper for children, students, seniors etc.
Villa Park is located toward the north of of Birmingham at approximately 2.5 miles from the city centre. The easiest way of getting to the stadium is arguably the train from New Street to Aston Station which leaves you with a manageable walk.
Villa Park Stadium’s address for satnav is as follows:
- Trinity Rd, Birmingham, B6 6HE.
When it comes to Parking there are some spaces between the industrial park between the stadium and Aston station, as well as Witton and Perry Barr. However you should always check for pay and display signs and whether or not a parking permit is required. Like all parking matters, use you common sense and remember that it never hurts to get their early and avoid the stress of trying to find a last minute space.
If you are unable to get the train there or fancy getting the bus then the two main bus services you want are number 7 and number 11. Failing this, you can also get the 65, 67, 104 and 114 which take you within walking distance of Villa Park. The 65/67 take you along Lichfield road, right outside Aston Station.
Villa park is served by two train stations in two different directions: Witton Station (North – 5 minutes walk) and Aston (East 10 minutes). Both stations can be accessed from Birmingham New Street station taking between 7-9 minutes making it a really easy journey to make once you are in the city.
Airports and Flying
The closet airport to Villa Park is Birmingham International Airport which is 14 miles away via car with an estimated journey of 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
Perhaps even easier is the train to Birmingham New Street Station which stops at the airport frequently. This allows for a quick transfer to the city centre in less than 10 minutes.
Assuming you have a car the most convenient hotels are probably the Campanile and Premier Inn which are close to Aston University, unless you want to make a quick getaway the next day in which case the Holiday Inn Express at Star City might be a decent choice.
If you’re dependent on public transport then you’re better off looking around New Street Station/Centre of Birmingham, with the other Holiday Inn and Radisson being my picks with the Ramada at The Mailbox being the wildcard, fancy option.