Chris Heck reveals his Villa Park plan as Aston Villa focus on key revenue stream

A general view of seats inside Villa Park
Aston Villa plan to improve supporter experience -Credit:Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

Aston Villa's president of business operations Chris Heck has outlined the plan of the club to increase the revenue generated from within the fanbase on any given Saturday afternoon at Villa Park by introducing almost 1,500 premium seats in the stadium which supporters can upgrade to on a match-day.

Last year Villa introduced the 1888 seats in the Trinity Road Stand, offering fans a more comfortable and luxurious way of watching Villa in action. Similarly these newly implemented premium seats around Villa Park, which will be brought in in the summer, will allow fans to enjoy an upgraded experience of their visit to B6, without - as Heck describes it - without mandating a new purchase.

The thinking behind it is that, rather than ask or expect supporters to buy more products on top of their match-day or season ticket purchases, Villa can increase the revenue margins from within what the supporters' natural habits are - primarily, attending games. It'll be the latest investment from NSWE as Villa seek to raise money which'd enable them to spend while remaining in line with the FFP rules.

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“We’re spending a lot of money and capital expenses to renovate and rebuild and add on to Villa Park, which was built originally in 1897 so we have some work to do,” Heck said, while attending the Sports Pro Live in London. “We have this incredible building and this incredible opportunity to generate new revenue, and we see it through premium seating.

“Our core fanbase, our general admission ticket, we would like to give them a better experience, a grander experience, giving them the option to purchase more things. So if that means keeping the prices similar to what they are then so be it.

“Our focus is on premium spaces. We have grand plans to add well over 1,000, closer to 1,500 seats this summer, that are premium seating in products at Villa Park. So that’s where we’re generating our revenue from our core fanbase by offering new things to purchase, as opposed to mandating a new purchase.”

Things couldn't have gone much better for Villa on the field under Unai Emery up to this point; they sit fourth, and in the driving seat for Champions League football ahead of chasers Tottenham Hotspur. They maintain a very strong chance of clinching European silverware in the form of the Europa Conference League, too.

A little like Newcastle United, who Heck also alludes to, Villa are aiming to blow the established order of the Premier League away by dismantling the so-called 'Big Six' with their own ambitions and expenditure. Villa would enjoy the idea that those above them, for now, don't consider them a direct threat.

“I’m hoping they get really lazy because there’s a couple of other clubs that are looking to bust through,” added Heck. “I would say to the Big Six don’t look over your shoulder but there’s a couple coming.”

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