Up until this season, Aston Villa were one of very few teams to never be relegated from the football league. Nowadays that is a distant memory as Steve Bruce’s men are very much a Championship side, sitting in 12th place.
If you’re a fan of Brighton and Hove Albion, or of course, Birmingham City then you still have a trip to Villa Park left this season. However it is a marquee ground which fans of teams coming down from the Premier League as well as those coming up from League One look out for.
Getting to Villa Park by car is relatively easy assuming the traffic on the day is kind. It is just 1.8 miles away from Junction 6 of the M6 and is easily visible from the motorway as you pass. Parking at the ground isn’t permitted unless you have a permit but there are off-site places where you can park. The two closest are King Edward VI Aston School Sports Ground and Aston Social Club which charge £5 and £6 respectively.
Getting there by train is equally simple, there are two stations within walking distance of Villa Park, Aston and Witton. Both have regular services going in from Birmingham New Street on match days. Witton is the closer of the two, just a 5 minute walk from the ground. Aston however has slightly more trains going in, this is slightly further away and takes 10 minutes.
Ticket prices at Villa Park in the away end are very expensive, they certainly aren’t joining in with the whole “affordable football, twenty’s plenty” thing. This is evident as adult tickets are as high as £35, with juniors being £20 and concessions £30. This seems absurd when you look at teams in the same league such as Huddersfield selling tickets for dirt cheap.
Food and Drink
Most of the pubs within the immediate vicinity of Villa Park are reserved for just home fans. The Witton arms is the closest which accommodates away fans as well as home, an Irish-themed pub on the doorstep of Witton station. The only pub exclusive to just away fans is the Barton Arms, just over a mile away from the football. Either of these are good choices for pre-match drinking whilst on an away day. If you want the best of both worlds, then The Barton Arms also offers food to away fans but there are a number of places offering a bite to eat within a miles radius.
The ground itself can handle up to 3,000 away fans in league fixtures, more if it’s a cup match. Visiting fans are located in the Doug Ellis Stand, adjacent to the infamous Holte End. An average attendance of over 31,000 is the second best in the Championship, behind only Newcastle United. Depending on how many away fans attend, fans are in both the upper and lower tier.
The concourse includes betting facilities, widescreen Tvs and a wide range of places to get food. Pies and pasties are all £3.30, hot dogs are £2.60, and if you are in the lower tier there is also access to Cheeseburgers (£3.50) and Fish & Chips (£6.50). A pint will set you back just £3.80 which is better than a lot of other teams in the football league. A programme will cost £3.50 should you choose to take some memorabilia home with you.
Villa Park is very much a traditional ground which is easily accessible via train as well as in the car. It has a decent number of pubs around the ground, has a wide range of food and a well priced pint inside. The atmosphere can vary depending on the importance, time of year and opponents. It would be incredible for a Second City Derby match but maybe not the best for a Tuesday night home game to Burton Albion.
There are a couple of factors letting it down however, considering the size of the stadium 3,000 is a slightly small away allocation to have. This is more evident when on average there are 10,000 empty seats every week. The prices are also way too extortionate for what it is. All of these reasons put together mean that an away day at Villa is rated at a 7.5/10. That may vary depending on the match experience, which is one thing we can’t inform you of.