Lerner wants to increase Villa Park capacity

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has revealed his ambition to increase the capacity of Villa Park to 50,000 to help the midlands club stay competitive.

Lerner wants to redevelop the North Stand end of the ground and lift the ground capacity from its current level of just over 42,000.

The American multi-millionaire has no definite time-scale as to when such major work would be undertaken but knows it is an important project in terms of sustaining success.

Lerner said: "The capacity issue, the focus on Villa Park, is very real.

"I do believe that as part of our plan, taking the North End of the ground and improving it and modernising it, should be part of our reasonably near term strategy.

"I am conscious of the fact this is an attendance-driven business and, if you don't have (high) attendances, then at some point your success will decline.

"There are a variety of balancing acts that go into generating additional capacity and at what cost are you going to do it."

Lerner added: "When will work start on the North Stand? We will start this year although not with a grand designer project to begin with. You will see small signs.

"The time frame? One to three years, two to four years, it depends. There are a couple of things that need to click in, in terms of our commercial model to put us in a position to really do something special with the North Stand.

"It is on our mind. We have got plans and drawings. It is the centre piece of our next big plan but I couldn't say definitively when we are going to get it done.

"If we do it, the capacity will increase to 50,000 at Villa Park."

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