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Opportunity To Leave Villa Park?

Opportunity To Leave Villa Park?

Opportunity to move away from Villa Park?

I am not saying that we should move away from Villa Park. It is the heart and soul of the club but I thought, as the club appears to be thinking big, it would be worth hearing peoples views on possibly the biggest potential change that the Randy era could bring. I understand all the reasons why the club should stay close to its roots, however most of them seem to be based on memories and tradition.

Whilst these are things that can not be overlooked it may be worth considering a couple of alternative views. What got me thinking about this was the plans for the
Holte Pub and hearing what fans would like. The idea of a museum or a Villa themed pub seem popular. As local demographics have changed, very few supporters now live within easy walking distance of VP. Infact most of the local area could be described, at best, as multi cultural. Due to this change most pubs in the region are struggling to stay in business.

Would an extra Villa themed pub/museum attract much business except on match?? I doubt that it would generate enough to warrant the expense on rebuilding and refurbishing it. The club would like it to be a hotel. But in truth the location does not make it the most attractive proposition for any visitors to Brum. Whilst the ground is convenient for the motorways and rail links, parking is a nightmare.

The surrounding area, other than Aston Hall is poor inner city and does not reflect the stature of the club. So here is the crux of the matter. Would moving to a new ground better serve the clubs purpose. In the same way as Arsenal, Middlesbrough, Bolton and Man City have? And in the same way as Portsmouth and Liverpool amongst others are considering. Arsenal have a comparable history to us and Highbury the library must have meant the world to their fans. However they seem more than happy with their new home. A ground in the centre of Brum would be ideal.

The ground could have bars and restaurants that could do business 7 days a week. The museum would be accessible. Transport in and out would be superb, although parking may be an issue. There are hundreds of bars and pubs that overnight, would become the new home of Villa supporters. Working in the city there is no reason for me to visit my matchday pub (the Adventurers) on any other day except matchday. This would change dramatically if fans could just nip down to there 'Villa' pub on a more regular basis.

Those that have been to Newcastle United will see the benefit of having a ground in the city centre. Geordie fans come out of the ground and in 2 minutes they are in the Big Market (the equivalent of our Broad Street). There are numerous other benefits to a City Centre ground but the availability of land means that this scenario is unlikely. However it is not beyond the realms of possibility for a new ground by the NEC. What are other fans views on this??

Article by utv-sotc


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Wednesday October 4 2006
Time: 11:10AM

Comments

0
build a super stadium on the NEC complex, massive amounts of parking, excellent rail links and road links. international airport right next to it. i'd be all for it, the ground could be more than just a football stadium too... we fear change, yet it should be embraced, we all say that small heath is a sh!t hole but in all fairness the surroundings of villa is a dump..
hammie
04/10/2006 11:25:00
0
Hmm this in an interesting one, however we recently re-did the trinity road stand so i doubt we would move for a very long time? I dont care as long as the stadium looks good, ticket prices do not rise because of stadium upgrades etc and is ten minutes from a train station!
industrial_musical
04/10/2006 11:36:00
0
stick a new stadium up yer arse ! Aston Villa STAYS in Aston
crosswesleyanchapel
04/10/2006 11:39:00
0
I think a more interesting proposition is to redevelope the surrounding area. Broad Street used to be a dump, especially near Gas Street but now it's THE place to both live and go out in the evening. As you rightly pointed out, the transport possibiolities in the area are fantastic and with a redevelopement the parking situation could easily be addressed. Threads on the forum have agrgued the point of the standard of VP and redevelopement issues as well as relocation but redevelopemnt and increased capacity on the existing site is a very real posibility even with today's planning permisions and regulations. There is also the possibility of rebuilding entirely on the original site(see Wembley but obviously on a smaller scale and a better managed building project - hopefully), something that will be done soon here in Norway at my local club . That then raises the issue of matchdays during the rebuild but one step at a time, everything is possible when there is sufficient support. I think it would be great to see the old houses of B6 restored to the rightfull place in Birmingham's cultural history instead of being used as bedsits and flats as many are today. Redevelopement on this scale can be done and often proves to be very financially sound. I site Broad Street as one example of this but if you want an none-city centre example, look at the Isle of Dogs in London. Randy has already spoken about redeveloping the area and I would not be surprised if he gets the local council on side and starts this kind of major project. On the same subject I would love to see some other areas of Brum reclaimed in the same way, parts of Mosley and Kings Heath and Edgebaston were one beautifull residential areas but have now been converted to "slum-land" (I know that some parts of these areas are still beautifull residential areas but not all that could be are). I think it's a real shame when we let out architectural cuture waste away to ruin like this and then build soul-less empty/funtional boxes in their place. Taking care of tradition, as we all seam to be keen on where AVFC is concerned, also means taking care of our herritage.
Villain Of The North
04/10/2006 11:44:00
0
yes lets build a mega stadium by the nec next door to an international airport so our wonderful players can breath in all that aviation fuel and exhaust, DOH doesn't cover it. see the point about the area, it is a ***** hole, VOTN with you on this, part of a villan is the feeling at VILLA PARK, stand in front of those steps and look up at our crest, feel that? thats your heart lifting, there is nothing like it, you can feel the history, its like hearing the chanting and singing of the fans from the last 100 odd years, the place vibrates with it. yes I know its probably just the trucks on spag junction. sentimental maybe but the place just feels special. just my opinion
steff_the_villan
04/10/2006 12:16:00
0
Damn I've brought a tear to my eye. UTV
steff_the_villan
04/10/2006 12:18:00
0
cw&c I think you will find that the Villa are actually located in Witton, not Aston. The fact that you had no substance to your argument would lend weight to the point in the original article, that memories and tradition would be the main barrier to fans excepting change. Other clubs have proved that this is not an insurmountable barrier. However VotN, it not Randys objective or ambition to redevelop the local area. It is the cultural change that changed the area, not the buildings. It is a complete non starter to think that similar changes could be introduced to compare it to Broad Street. No matter what you do, people are only going to come to the area on matchdays. The NEC is interesting, the lack of pubs though would mean a change in pre match habits for lots of supporters. I think an option would be to relocate the Science Museum back into the centre of Brum and build a stadium on the site of Millenium Point / Thinktank. Plenty of land. Only 5 minutes from current ground. 5 minutes from New Street and Moor Street. Lots of pubs. It would make accessibilty to the ground very easy 24/7. The centre of Brum would be claret and blue dominated on matchdays. I think there are real merits at looking at the potential opportunities this brings up. Importantly it would bring lots of potential investors to the table in the way that Emirates are involved with Arsenal. It is definitely worth having a feasability study carried out. And if at the end of the study, staying put is the best option then that is what should happen. I do not think it would do any harm to have a look at the options though.
voiceoftheholte
04/10/2006 12:19:00
0
I think it is interesting that the Fear has not added his thoughts to this forum. Does this mean that he does not mind either way or that he is already privvy to sensitive information??
voiceoftheholte
04/10/2006 12:30:00
0
the NEC is a nightmare to get to itself, 20 mins on a train, then you have to walk across it to get to where you need to be, this in itself can take 20 mins, and its not in aston. There is nowhere big enough in the centre of brum to put a stadium. the only available space is where the old post office was opposite millenium point and thats no where near big enough. Villa park is home and the surrounding area, whilst not being pleasent, has improved dramatically. there are logistical issues regarding parking, but that is the same at almost any ground. Birmingham is so full of developments that to put a ground anywhere near the city centre would mean putting it in a suburb, VP is 10 mins from town and a much nicer option than neechels, handsworth, garrets green, alum rock etc. if you wanted a ground in a nice area, you have to travel to four oaks estate or little aston (which is where most of the players actually live and is an hour fom brum) and theres no way the residents of those areas want a stadium on there doorstep. if the postition of VP was an issue, they'd have changed it years ago. great discussion though !
bobbyfett
04/10/2006 12:31:00
0
Sorry voiceoftheholt but you, although making some valid points are also talking about something that you have no knowledge of. How do you know Randy Lerner's intentions. He has already stated that he wants to redevelope the local area and that he is starting with the Holt Hotel. The question is, how far do his ambitions stretch in this area of developement. As far as the culture of the area changing is concerened, that was for socio-economic reason. To put it simply, the area lost it's value due to wealthier people 20-40 years ago deciding to move out to new developemnets rather than invest in maintaining the older buildings of B6. This was obviously contributed to by the poor vision of Birmingam city council prefering to use their funds on "liberal" hairbrained schemes as left wing councils are known to do, instead of maintaining and redeveloping cultral Birmingham as has now, in later years, become the case. If the investment is made, the people with money (I don't mean rich but people who have enough money to maintain their own properties - now that would be nice, would it not) will return. OK not right next to the ground maybe but right next to the ground is far better suited to commercial propperties such as pubs, clubs, hotels and a Villa museum.
Villain Of The North
04/10/2006 12:35:00
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