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23 Facts About Villa Park
Villa Park has hosted 55 FA Cup semi-finals, more than any other stadium.
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In 1897, Aston Villa moved into the Aston Lower Grounds, a sports ground in a Victorian amusement park in the former grounds of Aston Hall, a Jacobean stately home.
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Villa Park hosted the 2012 FA Community Shield, as Wembley Stadium was in use for the final of the Olympic football tournament.
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Negotiations continued for two years before the Villa Park committee reached agreement with the site's owner, Edgar Flower, to rent the Lower Grounds for £300 per annum on a 21-year lease with an option to buy the site at any point during the term.
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In 1911, Villa bought the freehold of the ground for £8,250, the office buildings in the old aquarium and car park area for £1,500 and the carriage drive and bowling green for £2,000.
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In June 1914, another phase of enhancements began at Villa Park to compete with improvements at other grounds around the country, including Everton's Goodison Park, where a new two-tiered stand had just been completed.
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Villa Park remained in much the same state for another 30 years, with no major developments until the late 1950s.
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Villa Park died in December 1938, leaving his construction business to his son, Archibald Junior.
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The old barrel-shaped roof on the Witton Lane Stand, the only remaining feature of the 1897 Villa Park, was removed in the summer of 1963 and replaced with a plain sloping roof in the same style as the Holte End.
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Villa Park was chosen by FIFA to host three matches for the 1966 World Cup on the condition that the Witton Lane Stand became all-seater.
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Villa Park's tenure saw executive lounges replace the old offices in the Trinity Road Stand.
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Redevelopment of the Witton End stand began in the summer of 1976, a year after Villa Park returned to the First Division after eight years away.
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Oldest stand at Villa Park is the North Stand, formerly known as the Witton End, completed in 1977.
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Future redevelopment of Villa Park has been an ever-present topic, with previous owners of Aston Villa: notably Randy Lerner and Tony Xia, expressing support to increase capacity.
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Villa Park was the first English ground to stage international football in three different centuries and has hosted matches in several international tournaments.
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Villa Park was originally listed as one of the six stadiums that would hold Olympic football matches in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
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Villa Park was chosen as the venue for two pool matches in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
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Villa Park has been a venue for musicians from multiple genres as well as preachers.
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On 2 February 2021, it was announced that Villa Park will be used as a regional COVID-19 vaccination centre by the NHS.
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Villa Park is within a short distance of two mainline railway stations.
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Under former owner Randy Lerner, there have been discussions on changing the name of Witton Station to Villa Park as is the case with West Bromwich Albion's local railway station, The Hawthorns.
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