I’ve been to 80 games at 54 English soccer stadiums and toured about a dozen of them, and I think my favorite is Villa Park, home of Aston Villa Football Club.
That’s even more true now that I’ve toured it. It’s big, it’s old, and it’s classy. I like their colors. I like their tour guides. I like the occasional stained glass. I like their tradition of having Americans play for them, including their current goalkeeper.
All in all, I basically can’t get enough of the place, even though when I toured there in December 2015 they were about as locked-in to get relegated as a team could be. I think they had one win the whole first half of the season! I guess that just means tickets will be easier to come by next year, even if the crowds will be smaller and the opponents less interesting.
I have been to a game there, by the way — a good one against Tottenham in 2016, in which Harry Kane got the winner and I got a cracking video of it, with the Spurs fans going wild. Read that post here. (Update: Aston Villa has since been relegated and now play in the Championship.)
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Here’s a video from the tour, walking out into the rain-soaked stadium. The lights on the pitch are basically grow lights, by the way. Impressive, but they sure mess with a camera’s settings!
Anyway, some images from a tour of lovely Villa Park: