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Villa Park. Time To Move?

Villa Park.  Time To Move?

I know its got all that history, I know its been improved, I know we can't and haven't filled it regularly for years, but is it time Villa started talking and exploring the idea of moving to a modern purpose built stadium ?

I'd be sorry to see it go, but then I'd be keen to have a stadium up with the best again, especially if by some miracle we start competing with the top spots in the Premiership and Europe. That's our ultimate aim, that's the dream, no matter how far away it may seem its the target and surely we should be considering a ground to match. As is always the case the traditionalists would bemoan the loss of such a great stadium but then Ellis wrecked much of what there was praiseworthy, well before his departure, what's left is a mismatch of costly building fabric, in which its hard to produce the functional areas for supporter comfort.

Views can still be restrictive, access to toilets and catering abysmal, certainly at best basic with knobs on to make it look good. Oh for a modern day clean and unobstructed stadium purposely built to suit the viewing public, full of the right amenities to encourage a family day out.

A site easy to get to, and a place where you know that if you arrive at 11 in the morning there is enough to keep you there to 11 or later at night. Imagine a day every other week where you know you can bring your family, meet up with your family. Where the women folk can shop, do their glamour thing, whilst the lads watch past Villa games, have a sociable drink, where the kids and grandchildren can play safely, enjoy the Villa experience one and all.

Then after lunch a few beers, cinema, TV, games rooms, Xbox's for the wannabe managers and so on. Then in the mood, out to your nice seat with an unadulterated view, to watch the game, safe in the knowledge the children if they don't want to listen to mom and dad or nan and granddad abusing the English language, are safely in care in the warmth away from the rain and snow and freezing weather.
Then when the match is over, instead of the annoying walk to claim your car, the slow tortuous exit onto the route home you can sit and enjoy banter with family and friends and others before a decent meal, a relaxing climb down and happy good byes, before a nice relaxed exit via immediate alternative transport locations to return you home.

Do for me, and although I appreciate I might need Randy's bank balance to afford all of it, I'm sure much could be incorporated at a reasonable cost.

When I look at what it costs me to bring those in my family keen to see the Villa, the peripheral cost of those who need to come down to meet up with those local to the ground, and their peripheral costs, added to the overall costs for food, added entertainment and drink, to say nothing of the tiring drives, the nightmare getting to and especially way from the ground, I think it would pay.

Certainly if Aston Villa plc were reaping the benefit of the total expenditure I'm sure we wouldn't need Randy's fortune to finance the club, 40 odd times that sort of expenditure would do it with ease, especially when multiplied by 50 or 60k attendees every time. I don't think it would be that hard to achieve either, the choice of site the most difficult of it all, it would need to be near enough to Aston to maintain its base, Ideally it would need to be close to or on easy access from the main motorway routes, 'real' rail outlets, and so on, and because of the included facilities not that far from the over all population of the area.

That way even none Villa supporting folk would be encouraged to use its numerous facilities, and it becomes even more viable. A huge project yes, but a viable one too and one the club should be considering now.

Aston Villa have over time always been innovators we like being first, and this is a superb opportunity to go one step further than most.

Is Mr Lerner up to it, are Villa fans up for it I wonder ;)

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

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Date:Tuesday October 2 2007
Time: 12:45PM


Maybe they should move the ground to Wales to pick up the odd delusional fan who has abandoned the current home of football.
Hoss The Villain
02/10/2007 13:04:00
However, not a bad idea as I'm sure Randy now has a bucket load of cash to splash out on a new ground as MON doesn't want to spend it on players.
Hoss The Villain
02/10/2007 13:18:00
Would see the argument if we were selling out and having massive back logs of fans wanting in. Just not the case (yet) though and we do have plenty of space to develop at VP. The area isn't great and it is a drag traffic wise, but VP is where our soul is, I'd hate a move.
The Fear
02/10/2007 13:22:00
Actually, saying I'd hate to move, fact is I probably wouldn't move if Villa left Villa Park I'm not sure I'd be interested in going to a new place.
The Fear
02/10/2007 13:23:00
Bolton have one of the best purpose built stadiums I have been to, the infrastructure is superb with dual carriageways in and out to the motorway. On the back of a retail park and spoilt for choice where to eat.
02/10/2007 13:31:00
.....but on the subject of moving, we have enough land to redevelop and the right man at the helm to help us do that. There is a good feel about Villa Park on the banks of Aston Park and I wouldnt have it any other way. The walk up trinity road past the Holte Pub, seeing the trinity appear through the tree's as you walk up the hill, and the scale of the Holte End still retaining its fine architecture, stopping at the burger van out side the trinity before tackling the stairs up into the Upper Trinity. Then watching the Holte fill up and in full view of the pitch a few rows back above the directors box right on the half way line...................I wouldnt have it any other way.
02/10/2007 13:37:00
Why would we want to move to a lifeless new stadium? Randy loves VP so this is a no-goer. AVFC48 - time wasted writing a fact-less article... give it up fella... and we are NOT a plc...
02/10/2007 13:39:00
First thing - Aston Villa is no longer a PLC (just to put straight the article's reference to it). Second - the ground already has planning permission for another 10,000 spectators. 52,000 would then be quite a respectable number - if the ground can be filled. Third - the ground is already as near-ideally suited for transport as could be imagined. Fourth - Villa have always been involved with Aston Park and the Lower Grounds. There is a local history around there in which the club is an integral part. To take the club away from that area would cause the loss of most of what is remaining of its soul. You may not be aware, but the club is interested in forming ties with it's locality - not breaking them. To divorce Villa from its home territory - for where else locally could a new ground be built? - would be (there's no other word for it) sacrilege.
02/10/2007 13:50:00
I think this is a good discussion, over here Yankee stadium ("the house that Ruth built", Babe Ruth that is), the same arguments came up, capacity, facilities, views even updates that were made in past years that ruined the old feel. But money won over nostagia. I grew up on the watching my games at Villa Park and Anfield, they have a feel and Aura about them that the new stadiums dont have. I can go and get a hot dog quicker or ***** without the smell of years gone by, but I also have no memories and that is what keeps pulling me back. We are not a throw away franchise!
NY Villa
02/10/2007 14:37:00
No! No need to move, everyone loves VP, away fans, home fans. It's the last great stadium, once Anfield is replaced, in the country. It's too special for us to get a lifeless, modern, anti-atmospheric ground. VP will be rocking with 52,000 fans in. I can understand why you'd want to discuss it...but not for me, no way.
02/10/2007 14:48:00
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