Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday October 4 2006
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
Date:Wednesday October 4 2006
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