Background of Aston Villa Park
Aston Villa Football Club has been the home field of Aston Villa Club since 1897. The team used to play at Aston Park from 1874 to 1876 and Perry Barr from 1876 to 1897. It has played host to 16 England international tournaments at senior level. The first of these was in 1899 and the latest in 2005. It was the very first English ground to hold international football games in three different centuries.
Villa Park is one of the oldest and most popular football grounds in the European Continent.
It has hosted the World Cup, European Championship and other world football games along with more Football Association (FA) Cup semi-finals more than any other venue in the United Kingdom. The last ever European Cup Winners Cup final between Lazio and Real Mallorca in 1999 was also played in this historic stadium. Villa Park hosted three matches during the 1966 World Cup tournament. Villa Park is also the place for musical concerts which featured singer-celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen, Barry White and Duran-Duran. The acclaimed evangelist Billy Graham also addressed members of his congregation on these revered grounds.
Brief History of the Park
In 1897, the Aston Villa Club moved into the Aston Lower Grounds. It is a sports facility located in a Victorian amusement park at the former grounds of Aston Hall. Since then, the stadium has gone through different phases of renovation and development. It even resulted in the modification of Holte End, Trinity Road Stand, North Stand and the Doug Ellis Stand. The club has obtained a permit to renovate the North Stand to increase the capacity of Villa Park from 42,788 to approximately 50,000 spectators. Prior to1914, a cycling track enclosed the perimeter where regular cycling meetings and athletic events were held. The stadium is a favourite place for concerts and sporting events to include boxing matches, international rugby league and rugby union matches.
The last final of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup was held at Villa Park. It also hosted the 2012 Football Association Community Shield because at that time Wembley Stadium was holding the finals of the Olympic football tournament.
The next significant development at Villa Park was the pulling down of the Trinity Road Stand in 2000. It had stood there since 1922 although a number of renovations and additions were made in the past. The demolition started following the final game of the 1999–2000 seasons. It was met with extreme unhappiness from many people including the British sports historian Simon Inglis who said “the landscape of English football will never be the same.” The new stand was bigger and more spacious than the previous one. Villa’s capacity increased from 39,399 42,788. It was officially opened in November of 2001 by The Prince of Wales, His Highness Charles Arthur Philip George.