Your questions answered: April 2010
21st Jul 2010
We are currently investigating the viability of a membership scheme and will announce details in due course.
Question Two: Is it possible to have Wi-Fi throughout the whole stadium?
The Club does have Wi-Fi reception in almost all areas of the grounds for internal business and non-match day purposes. At this time, it is not technically feasible to expand the current service to accommodate a high volume of users without significantly impacting business-critical functions. We are aware that Wi-Fi connection within the bowl on match-days has become an increasingly requested service, and the Club may investigate provision of this service by a third-party vendor (usage rates applying) similar to that provided at other stadiums and venues.
Question Three: What are the plans for stadium renovation and when are these plans likely to take effect? And have plans for the redevelopment been delayed by the fact we can't fill the ground?
The club sincerely appreciates the keen interest expressed by all regarding potential development of the stadium and grounds. Currently, plans to redevelop the North Stand are conceptual in nature, with no firm decisions made at this stage. As we all might imagine, a project of this scope involves a multi-year effort to comprehensively consider business and supporter needs and develop these requirements into the overall vision for the Stand. As such, there is no defined date for start of any construction. The project has not been delayed due to any capacity-related concerns, but rather has been undergoing internal review and development for the reasons previously mentioned.
Question Four: Would it be better for people to be able to order food whilst in their seats and then being able to collect the food at half time rather than queuing during the break? Also is it possible to have quicker catering during the intervals, or alternatively be able to take it to our seats?
During the closed season we will explore a voucher that could be bought pre match and then redeemed at half time similar to a fast track system. We will also be looking at the product offer and range on offer to streamline our catering services. We will consider if possible to split food and drink to speed up service for those only wanting drinks and we will look to move the condiment stations away from the counters (space permitting) to move the queues away once people have been served. We are also looking at increasing our fast pour units to speed up service. To reduce pressure in the Doug Ellis Upper concourse we have also allowed the David Targett Suite to be open at half time. As for taking to seats, we do permit food and soft drinks into seating areas but Licensing does not permit alcohol to be drank in view of the pitch so we can't alter that.
Question Five: Has the club identified local sites to purchase for use as car parking?
The purchase of land solely for the use of car parking would not be financially viable, as it would take years and years to recoup the cost. However, we continually monitor the surrounding areas of Villa Park to maximise the number of off street car parking opportunities for fans to use on Match days. The transport section on our website www.avfc.co.uk has an up to date Matchday Travel Map which shows the official car parking available for supporters, as well as providing relevant information such as cost, postcodes etc. We recognise that there are numerous sites in Aston and surrounding areas that are not used at present and would appear vacant. Where possible, we have contacted the landowners to see if the provision of car parking is feasible.
Question Six: When the North Stand is redeveloped, would we offer a greater variety of food instead of just having Pies and chips?
Many of our current kiosks are old, and the product offer that we have now is indicative of how the kiosk was originally built so anything is possible to consider with a new build. We will canvass and welcome supporter opinion when the time comes.
Question Seven: Could the entrance and exits to the toilets within the concourses be looked at? i.e. wider doors, no doors, no designated entry, this would hopefully improve speed and access?
Thank you for the suggestion. The Club will take a look at this issue, and see if we can address in the off-season and/or during the course of next season, as might be appropriate.
Question Eight: When we get into the Champions League, has the club already made plans for ensuring we can fill the ground when games are on TV?
The club endeavours to fill the ground for every home game including domestic and European games by continuing to offer affordable ticket pricing for every fan wishing to be at the 'live' game.
Question Nine: Could the savings offered through Villa Value tickets and special matchday offers be used to encourage ST renewals the following season as this can often discourage renewals?
Low priced family tickets are often sold in non Season Ticket areas, such as the lower away section of the Doug Ellis Stand when not occupied by away supporters. Across the season Season Ticket Holders will always secure their seat at the cheapest possible rate.
Question Ten: Can we reduce the prices for midweek TV away games?
The Club does not set away ticket prices for PL games. Domestic Cup pricing is mutually agreed between both Clubs and we will always consider TV picks, distance and other fixtures into consideration when proposing prices.
Question Eleven: Could Lions Club have a designated lounge please priced at £2 each?
Unfortunately, space is a premium on a match day and having a designated lounge is not possible for Supporters Clubs on their own as we have to show fairness to Season Ticket Holders too. That said we have made the David Targett Suite available this season for Lions Clubs to meet up with each other.
Question Twelve: Could food and drink be sold to fans after full-time, this would increase revenue and convenience for fans?
We have trialled this before but the uptake was very low and fans assumed the food was 'leftovers', and to keep the staff back it wasn't economically viable. That said, we can give it another go and maybe try a few strategic kiosks in each stand, watch out on www.avfc.co.uk for where it will be happening.
Question Thirteen: Could the PA system be improved and more matchday involvement i.e. old teams on the pitch before the game?
The club is aware of some desired improvements to the existing PA system in certain areas of the stadium. Last season, we engaged with several acoustical engineers to receive professional evaluations of the existing system. Their recommendations are under review at this time. Logistically (due the location/height of the equipment and the need to keep the existing system in operation), the Club is considering various options regarding (perhaps) a phased implementation, as might be appropriate. At present, there is no firm schedule for this work.
Question Fourteen: Could the layout of the concourse and toilet areas be evaluated to allow a better through flow? This coupled with an improvement in staff training and preparation could improve matchday secondary spend?
Per Question Seven above, the Club will take a look at concourse toilet access to see if any improvements to pedestrian flow can be made. With regard to the concourse layouts, we are somewhat limited by the physical spaces within these areas (e.g., the smaller concourses of the Doug Ellis Stand) and the need to maintain specific corridor clearances/widths in accordance with Health & Safety and General Safety Certificate requirements. Perhaps, if there are any specific thoughts regarding the addition or rearrangement of certain kiosks within the concourse areas that might improve the matchday experience, the Club would appreciate any suggestions.
Question Fifteen: Can we have cash point machines around the ground?
This is an issue which has been looked at recently. Villa Park was surveyed for the suitability of installing ATM's on January 13 this year; unfortunately the conclusion was that there is insufficient foot-fall to justify the costs of installing cash machines around the ground.