Are you visiting Villa Park as an away fan?
This page contains all of the information you need as visiting supporter.
If there is anything not covered or you have any questions, please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via Twitter.
Where do away fans sit at Villa Park?
(c) Villa Underground – ‘Wycombe Wanderers At Villa Park’.
Traditionally away fans were seated in the Lower North stand (pictured) but in recent years have been housed in a two tiered section of the Doug Ellis stand. This move, whilst not necessarily improving atmosphere, does give you marginally improved facilities over the dated North Stand.
Expect to find yourself in the Doug Ellis stand.
This is a deliberate tactic used by Villa to put visiting fans further away from the action. The idea being that you will have a lessor influence on the game (sorry about this, blame Martin O’Neill).
This appears to be true, particularly for opponents who don’t take the full allocation, as you will be put in the upper tier only, leaving the lower tier empty. The allocation for away visitors is currently allocated from the back rows first.
Note that there is a rule change coming into affect for the 2017 season which should change such arrangements, preventing away supporters from being banished to the Gods [think St. James’ Park].
Due to the need to provide visiting teams a greater capacity it’s more common that you will have the entire North Stand (Upper & Lower). If there is additional demand, clubs have taken a full allocation to include the Doug Ellis tiers mentioned above.
Whilst Villa Park is a generally modern stadium, the North Stand is the oldest section of the ground and has facilities which unfortunately reflect this.
However, whilst the amenities and exterior impression leave a great deal to be desired, the views are unrestricted and offer great vantage points of the pitch. The centre upper North Stand seating has particularly good viewing, if a choice is to be had.
Away End – Doug Ellis Stand:
Whilst a simple seating plan, as an away fan you will be split over 2 tiers if your club has taken their full allocation (almost 3000). The ordinary allocation approach is currently to fill from the back first, towards the front.
This can result in an empty/spare lower tier if your club doesn’t opt to take its full allocation.
The upper tier has a 64 step stair climb. Something worth keeping in mind. The lower concourse is a large open area, but the upper is a more cramped affair. All seats have plenty of leg room and decent, unrestricted views.
The lower Doug Ellis offers good atmosphere with vocal Villa fans who sit in the Lower North Stand. These home supporters mostly moved from areas within The Holte End, taking advantage of lower ticket prices and better “banter“.
If you are late, Villa keep 2 turnstiles open for away fans (1 for upper/lower tier). You will be able to get in until around half time.
If expecting a beer in the ground, you can only do so if you are in the lower tier of the Doug Ellis. If you find yourself in the Upper section, be aware that you cannot wander to the lower level to get a drink.
Due to a handful of visiting numpties, there are now a good number of games where alcohol isn’t served at all due to previous incidents of trouble.
This generally extends to local derbies, but also to an increasing number of returning clubs as well.
Drinks [when available] in the ground are priced at about £4 for a (plastic) bottle of Carlsberg lager, Somersby Cider & some real ales.
As with most football grounds, the food & drink is priced on the high side, with quality/variety leaving a lot to be desired.
Mind you, I like the Balti pies…
It’s best to find a decent away friendly pub near Villa Park instead.
Aston Villa Away Friendly Fan Pubs:
Formerly known as the Cap ‘n’ Gown, The Witton Arms is a dedicated away friendly pub within walking distance of the away turnstiles.
Whilst traditionally it was known to segregate both sets of fans, it is now considered an away pub only.
On arrival at Villa Park, facing the away turnstiles, face right and walk away from the ground for around 2 minutes.
You will reach a small roundabout, where you will see The Aston Hotel.
The pub is on your right. You absolutely cannot miss it. If you do, you’re already too drunk.
Entry fee £2 – This guarantees you access to a massive venue which has a reputation for not only serving quickly but also has numerous big screens, TV’s and facilities to handle large numbers.
There are other options, but few that will cater nearby for so many away fans in one setting (800).
Alternative away pubs near Villa Park
‘The Harriers’ (54 Davey Road, B20 3DR)
‘The Bartons Arms’ (144 High Street, B6 4UP),
An alternative to ‘The Witton Arms’ is the ‘The Bartons Arms’ which comes recommended for Thai food as well as CAMRA beer. A solid 4.5 on Tripadvisor at the time of writing.
‘Yew Tree’ (B6 7AS)
‘Ruskin Hall Social Club’ (B6 5HP)
If arriving into Birmingham city centre via New Street train station (also now known as “Grand Central”);
There nearest large Wetherspoons pub is ‘The Square Peg’:
‘The Shakepeare’ Victorian pub is within very close proximity to the station exit:
It has been known that upon arriving at Villa Park by coach you will be encouraged by the local peace keepers to enter the ground where you can get “a drink”.
Depending on the tier and licensing decision for the fixture you could be out of luck. The chances are increasingly that you will not be able to get a beer in the ground.
It’s therefore a good idea to take a wander down the road for refreshments. See above for suggestions.
Flags & Banners
Whilst the club has a policy of not permitting flags or banners being tied or draped, this doesn’t appear consistently enforced.
It’s not uncommon to see flags draped between the tiers or empty seats within the Doug Ellis stand for league games.
For Cup Games (where visiting fans have been moved for a larger allocation), the North Stand has two tiers of executive boxes directly below. The likelihood is that flags will be removed if obscuring the view below.
In fixtures where netting has been used in the North Stand, the club seems to turn a blind eye to banners being draped across them (as pictured at the top of this page against Wycombe Wanderers).
Villa have netted off the first few rows of the Upper North Stand on occasion, which allows for flags to be draped or tied to the empty blocks.
Villa Park does have a history of removing banners where an anti-club or political message has been displayed.
The latest stance on banners/flags is available via the FSF website and states:
“For away supporters, we are happy to try and help the displaying of your flag and/or banner at Villa Park within the away area at Villa Park. Please email a photograph of your flag and/or banner to email@example.com at least three days prior to your visit. We reserve the right to refuse admission to any flag or banner. Please get in touch in advance so we can confirm arrangements and avoid disappointing you on the day of the match.”
Aston Villa Away Ticket Prices
There is some variation in ticket prices for away fans at Villa Park. However, some fixtures are included in a scheme whereby both clubs subsidise the costs reciprocally.
Ticket prices at face value range between £25 – £45 (excluding concessions).
If a neutral, you can always try Seatwave where shrewd locals pick up cheap re-sale tickets sold by other supporters unable to get to the game. Crucially, this is a club endorsed system so it is also completely safe to use.
Your final option is purchasing via avfc.co.uk [the official site] – where tickets containing a barcode can be bought on the day and printed. Note that smartphones can’t be used – it must [annoyingly] still be a physical ticket.
Alternatively you can take a risk on matchday and visit the official ticket office based behind the North Stand (next to The Villa Village) where any remaining away tickets will routinely be on general sale.
Obviously, if an away fan you risk ejection/refused entry if using this option to sit in the home end unless attending as a neutral.
Check out this handy guide.
Directions to Villa Park
Note there are restrictions in and around Villa Park on matchdays.
The ground lies amongst dense residential housing and access/parking in nearby side-streets is limited but clearly marked with the following large signs:
Cars parked in these areas without residents permits are easy picking for traffic wardens, so it’s really not worth the gamble.
Villa Park (Aston Villa) Address:
Away Disabled Access, Seating & Facilities:
Away supporters with physical disabilities cannot currently be “accommodated” within the away area at Villa Park.
Fans requiring wheelchair access view the game via the Trinity Road stand, the most modern section of Villa Park.
Full details of Aston Villa’s provision for disabled supporters (home and away) can be found via this dedicated page on the official site.
If a supporter requires a Personal Assistant (PA or Support Worker) to aid them in attending the match, they are granted free entry. This is subject to eligibility criteria.
Level Playing Field promotes good access to grounds for all fans. It is also an excellent resource for football accessibility information and news in general.
A detailed independent overview of Villa Park’s current accessibility for disabled fans is available here. This also contains first hand supporter experiences of access, treatment & accessibility from a visiting fan perspective.