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Design & Development

Aston Villa ‘re-evaluating’ stadium expansion plans

Featured image credit: Aston Villa

Chris Heck, president of business operations at Premier League club Aston Villa, has said that it would be a “bad idea” to rebuild the North Stand at Villa Park and reduce the stadium’s capacity for two seasons.

Villa has been planning on expanding the capacity of Villa Park to over 50,000, with a redeveloped North Stand central to the project. In October, Birmingham City Council approved revised plans for the project.

The club unveiled updated plans to redevelop the North Stand back in July, with a series of amendments submitted as part of a revised planning application to Birmingham City Council.

The redevelopment of the North Stand would take place over two seasons and would increase Villa Park’s capacity from 42,785 to over 50,000 ahead of UEFA Euro 2028, when it will be a host venue.

Heck joined Villa in May, having previously served as president of NBA basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers. Prior to that, he held leadership roles at the NBA and Major League Soccer franchise the New York Red Bulls.

Villa is currently third in the Premier League table and would go top with a victory over Sheffield United on Friday. In an interview with the Villa website released today (Tuesday), Heck discussed the status of the North Stand project.

He said: “During the summer months, I became more concerned that we were adding too many seats too fast and so I do believe that it is important that we took a step back and re-evaluate what is best for our fans.”

Heck added: “We have 42,000-plus seats. It’s a substantial amount and to add on 10,000 right now doesn’t seem practical to me. We talk about Villa Park being a fortress and it’s true.

“There’s no better home advantage than at Villa Park and I think it would be a bad idea to tear down one of the stands for a two-year period while we’re playing like we are. I think that going forward, everything should be about all fans, and not just about one particular stand.”

Villa is also planning a multi-purpose community and entertainment space, which will be named The Warehouse.

“We are going to start renovating the Warehouse area,” said Heck. “That’s a massive space that we think can be a hospitality zone and entertainment zone for over 3,000 fans. not only pre-game and post-game, but also concerts and other shows that we have at Villa Park.”

Heck added that the club will enhance Villa Park’s technology next summer and hinted at a major expansion of the stadium’s superstore.