Villa Park


Europe, United Kingdom, West Midlands

Villa Park is an association football stadium in the district of Witton, Birmingham, England with a seating capacity of 42,789. It has been the home of Aston Villa Football Club since 1897. The team previously played at Aston Park from 1874 to 1876 and Perry Barr from 1876 to 1897. The ground is less than a mile from both Witton and Aston railway stations and has hosted sixteen England internationals at senior level, the first in 1899 and the most recent in 2005. It was the first English ground to stage international football in three different centuries. Villa Park has hosted more Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) semi-finals than any other stadium, having hosted 55 matches in total. In 1897 Aston Villa moved into the Aston Lower Grounds, a sports ground in a Victorian amusement park situated in the former grounds of Aston Hall, a Jacobean stately home. Prior to the purchase of the freehold in 1911, the ground was rented for £300 per annum. Over the course of its history the stadium has gone through various stages of renovation and development resulting in the current stand configuration of the Holte End, Trinity Road Stand, North Stand and the Doug Ellis Stand. The club has initial planning permission to redevelop the North Stand, which will increase the capacity of Villa Park from 42,789 to approximately 50,000. Before 1914 a cycling track ran around the perimeter of the pitch where regular cycling meetings were hosted as well as athletic events. Aside from football-related uses, the stadium has seen various concerts staged along with other sporting events including boxing matches and international rugby league and rugby union matches. The last ever final of the European Cup Winners' Cup, the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final, took place at Villa Park.