Aston Villa plan to redevelop Villa Park over the next two to ten years as fans prepare to return to B6 ahead of the new season.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm plans for Premier League stadiums to welcome full capacity crowds again from August, with Villa set to host Newcastle in front of a sold-out crowd of over 42,000 people.
This will be the first time in 18 months that Villa Park has been filled with plans now in place to once again welcome full crowds. Villa, meanwhile, host Sevilla in a pre-season friendly on Saturday August 7 before their season kicks off at Watford a week later.
Dean Smith’s side had 10,000 for their sweet victory over Chelsea on the last day of last season while, a day later, 4,406 witnessed Villa’s FA Youth Cup triumph over Liverpool.
Before the 2021/22 campaign, 30,000 season tickets were sold again, with this figure capped to allow ticket sales on a match-by-match basis.
Managing Director Christian Purslow sat down with supporters last week to discuss the ticketing and development plans for Villa Park. The CEO explained that there were more than 13,000 fans on the club’s waiting list for season tickets, with Purslow explaining how “the waiting list is a key tool in assessing the need to increase the season ticket. capacity”.
Here are some of the key questions you might ask yourself regarding Villa Park:
What’s the last one? Will Villa Park be redeveloped?
Villa Park has been granted permission to demolish the current Family Fun Zone building, club ticket office and store as part of a redevelopment of the North Stand parking lot.
This plan, adopted in August 2019, will be part of Villa’s overall plan to develop Villa Park and increase its capacity. Due to the uncertain status of Covid and Villa in the Premier League in July 2020, plans have been put on hold.
However, Purslow has since explained how Villa Park will have increased capacity by 2031 at the latest.
Speaking at the last fan consultation meeting, he said: “We all know we have a unique stadium with four grandstands built at the start of or before the 21st century.
“The first step in development is to understand our limits and see what we can do to develop and improve. The waiting list is a key tool in assessing the need to increase capacity. The timescale for improvements would likely be between two and 10 years. with several steps in this process. “
He added: “Once the consequences of Covid have subsided, we are likely to need a bigger stadium and, as noted, that would require long-term strategic development involving three or four key steps along the way. Our fans have clearly bought into our continuous improvement. “
What did the owners say about improving the capacity of Villa Park?
After Villa’s accounts were released in April, President Nassef Sawiris and co-owner Wes Edens explained their “long-term plan to improve our iconic Villa Park home”.
The statement added: “Preliminary designs and drawings are being formulated, both to increase our capacity and to modernize our commercial facilities. “
What will Villa Park’s new capacity be once it has been developed?
Four years ago then-CEO Keith Wyness revealed that Villa was looking to increase the floor capacity to 60,000.
“In terms of 60,000, I don’t see us pushing the button until we’re back in the Premier League. These things can also take between three and five years,” he said.
Regarding Villa’s current regime, NSWE and Purslow have yet to release details of what the additional capacity will look like at Villa Park but, with over 10,000 fans on Villa’s waiting list, the A quarter stage improvement would be the minimum expected with 55,000 to 60,000 the approximate figure to help meet demand.
CEO Purslow, meanwhile, has taken a cautious approach to the plans. “We have gone from the mid-table championship to the Premier League mid-table in three years,” he said, “which led to our first waitlist for season tickets.
“A well-managed business operation will ensure that we clean up data from our waitlist to ensure that the season ticket request remains genuine.”
What about ticket prices and availability?
Purslow explained how “aggressive price increases are not part of Villa’s business strategy”.
When promoted, Aston Villa was the third cheapest and fifth cheapest adult season pass among all Premier League adult prices.
Adult season tickets for 2021/22 range from £ 684 in the Doug Ellis and Trinity Road stands to £ 370 in the Holte End and North stands.
“Season ticket prices have been frozen from summer 2019, reflecting the club’s promotion prices to the Premier League after the initial pre-registration period,” a spokesperson said ahead of 2021/22.
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“The price of season tickets is equivalent to the following; from £ 3.69 per match for under 14s; from £ 5.11 per match for under 18s; from £ 19.48 per match for adults.
“The club waives administration and reservation fees when renewing or purchasing memberships.”
Ticket details for pre-season friendlies and Premier League matches are not available at this time.
Any other matter
Fans have been encouraged to sign up for the club’s ever-growing waitlist for season tickets.
“We will make sure to engage directly with the fans who have failed this season by making sure to stay in touch and provide other opportunities where we can along the way,” Purslow said.
Elsewhere, the phone signal improved at Villa Park with an EE 5G system installed which was used in Villa’s victory over Chelsea on the last day of the season. The signal went down before kickoff due to a power issue, but it has since been fixed.
- What do you think of Purslow’s comments regarding the plans to increase capacity at Villa Park? Let us know HERE
In terms of seating, Villa has increased its disabled facilities by 16% for the new season. This means home and away fans won’t have to mix in the Trinity Road grandstand, with away fans able to join the visitors section in the Doug Ellis grandstand, which in turn , frees up much needed seats in the Trinity.
Additional space in the north stand will also be used for accessible seating. “If the capacity of Villa Park increases, the number of accessible seats will also increase,” a club spokesperson said recently.
Returning to the box office, Villa confirmed that there are no plans to use a secondary sales agent for supporters with tickets who cannot attend a game. The ticket exchange system for season ticket holders will remain in place.