|Leeds United v Stoke City|
Sunday, 5th August 2018 Kick-off 16:30
Aston Villa Awaydaze
Thursday, 12th Apr 2018 20:21 by Tim Whelan
Our first visit to Aston Villa kicks off at 7.45 on Friday, having been shifted forwards from Saturday by our very good friends at Sky Sports. We’re still not famous any more!
Villa Park is about three miles north of Birmingham city centre and can be reached by coming off the M6 at the spaghetti junction and taking the A5127 Lichfield Rd (Signposted Villa Park).
It’s mainly street parking, though a ‘residents only’ scheme will prevent you from getting too close to the stadium, and you might be pestered by kids offering to 'watch' your car for up to £4.The best bet would be in the streets around Aston station, or a mile and half away at the Star City leisure complex which is well signposted from the M6, which is at least free.
Of course it won’t be possible to get a train back to Leeds after the game, but I’ve included the following directions for our many fans who live a bit closer to Brum. The best railway station for the away end is Witton, which is on the New Street-Walsall line and has two trains every hour on weekdays at 27 minutes and 57 past each hour, return trains at 21.50, 21.56, 22.19 and 22.34. Aston station is further away but has a more frequent service as it is also served by trains heading for Lichfield.
If you're coming down the M6 from the north (which I hardly need to tell you can be just a little bit congested once you hit the West Midlands) you will probably be better off by escaping from the motorway as soon as you can, to park at Bescot Stadium or Tame Bridge stations and get the train to Witton. Another option is to get bus no.7 from Birmingham city centre.
The best pubs are the ‘Witton Arms’ in Witton Road, which welcomes both home and away supporters but charges £2 to get in, and the Yew Tree on Brookvale Rd. For the latter turn right on leaving Witton station and it's a two minute walk. CAMRA enthusiasts should seek out the ‘Bartons Arms’ on High Street Aston (the A34).
Away supporters get 2,400 seats on one side of the Doug Ellis Stand (which the former chariman modestly named after himself), towards the North end of the stadium. This is split between both the upper and lower tiers of the stand. The concourse at the back of the upper tier is particularly tight and easily becomes crowded, and this means they offer a more limited choice of food than the comparatively spacious lower section.
Adult tickets cost £30, with four categories of concessions going down to £10. Our allocation was originally sold through the ‘attendance tracker’ system, but there are still 300 left. Presumably this is down to the game being on TV or disappointment at the way our season has gone, or possibly both. The remaining tickets can be bought by members at the Visiting Supporters Ticket Office on Witton Lane from 6:15pm, first come first served.
The current capacity of Villa Park is 42,785, but the club have planning permission to re-develop the North Stand by building extending around the current open corners at that end of the stadium. This would increase the capacity to 51,000, but there is currently no firm timescale as to when this will take place, and they would probably need to get back into the Premiership to justify the expense.
They were also looking the possibility of a 'safe standing' area at Villa Park, but given the government’s refusal to allow an experiment at nearby WBA, despite the new ‘rail seat’ technology developed in recent years, unfortunately this looks unlikely to happen for a while yet.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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