Madejski Stadium Like?
Madejski Stadium (photo)
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
East Stand (photo)
Where To Drink?
West Stand (photo)
How To Get There By Car & Where To Park
View From The Away Section On Matchday (photo)
Admission Prices For Away Supporters
Record & Average Attendance
Fans Ground Reviews
View From The Away Stand (photo)
Madejski Stadium Location Map
|What's The Madejski Stadium Like?|
|This Club moved to the stadium
in 1998, after spending 102
years at their former home of Elm
Park. The stadium is of a fair size
and is totally enclosed, with all four corners being
occupied. Three sides are single tiered, whilst
on one side the West (Main) Stand is two tiered,
including a row of executive boxes. This stand has a
curve in its roof and the team dug outs are located in
front. Unlike the West Stand, the others stands have a
more conventional look to their roofs, although there
is a gap between the roofs and the back of the stands,
that contains perspex, to allow more light to reach
the pitch. The ground has been designed with the
supporter in mind as the fans are housed very close to
the pitch and the acoustics are very good. The stadium also has a video screen in
the South East corner. The stadium, named after
Reading's chairman John Madejski is shared with London
Irish Rugby Club.
The Club have received planning permission to increase the capacity of the stadium to 38,000. This would involve further extending three sides of the stadium (the West Stand would remain as it is) and replacing the roof and would take around three years to complete. This would be achieved by first by increasing the size of the East Stand, adding around 7,000 additional seats. The following year the North Stand would be extended adding another 3,500 seats and a year later a similar construction would happen at the South end of the stadium. However, it is unclear when work will commence, but the Club's perspective new owners have indicated that this could start at the beginning of the 2013/14 season, if the Club remain in the Premier League.
|What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?|
|Away fans are located in one
end of the stadium, in the South Stand, where up to
4,300 can be accommodated (although the normal
allocation is 2,100). The facilities in this stand are
good with plenty of leg room and the views of the
pitch are superb, as there is good height between
rows. Away fans can really make some noise in this
stand, so make the most of it. The atmosphere is also
boosted by a drummer in the home section. Entrance to
the stadium is by ticket only and if tickets are still
available for away supporters then they can purchase
them on the day at the South Stand ticket office
located between gates 9 & 10. You enter the
stadium by inserting your ticket into a ticket reader
which scans the bar code on the ticket and illuminates
a green light to go in.
I first visited this stadium shortly after it opened and then a few times in recent seasons. When I first went in 1998 I truly believed that it was a fantastic stadium. Subsequently after going back and with a number of other new stadiums being built during that time, the Madejski seems just like another nice functional ground. Considering that as it also lacks character and that essential 'wow' factor and coupled with the fact that there are few facilities around the stadium such as pubs for away fans, then there is not a lot to 'write home about'. Add to that, that the security staff outside the away entrance seem to be rather over the top which sets the tone of the visit. I have also received reports of fans not being admitted into the away section for being (in the opinion of the stewards) 'too drunk'.
|Where To Eat & Drink?|
|There are no pubs as such near to the stadium. However I did locate a Holiday Inn
which was around a 15 minute walk away. The hotel
had a small bar inside it, but then attached had a
larger Irish themed separate bar area, called
Callaghans. This bar had Sky Television, but as you
would expect was very crowded with away fans and
served drinks at what I can only term as 'hotel
prices'. Across the road from the hotel is
a very good fish & chip shop. To find
this hotel, leave the M4 at Junction 11 and take the
A33 towards Reading, turn right at the first
roundabout into Imperial Way. Go down this road and
you will come to the hotel on your left. You can also park there at a cost of £7 per car. There
is also street parking to be found in this area. On
my last visit the Holiday Inn was mobbed, so I went
in search of another pub. Passing the Holiday
Inn on my left I turned left onto
Basingstoke Road and walked up over a hill to find a
pub on the right called 'The World turned upside
down.' This chain pub had a mixture of home and away
fans and also was popular for food. From the pub it
is around a 15 minute walk to the stadium.
Dave Harris adds; 'If you arrive early, then you could drive to Three Mile Cross where there are a couple of good pubs to be found. Come off the motorway at J11 and head away from the stadium (signposted A33 Basingstoke). After 200 yards take the first exit at the roundabout into Three Mile Cross'.
Alcohol is available inside the stadium, where Courage Bitter & Fosters Lager (£4 per pint) are on offer, plus Guinness and Strongbow Cider (£4.20 per pint). On the concourse, which can get very busy the food outlets offer a range of food including 5" Pizzas (£3.50), Hot Dogs (£3.50), Jumbo Pasty (£3.20), Steak and Loddon Ale Pie (£3.20) and Chicken Curry Pies (£3.20). The pies are produced by Peter's Pies and the ale is supplied by the local Loddon Brewery.
Next to the ground on a Retail Park are the following food outlets; McDonalds, KFC & Pizza Hut. Otherwise it may be an idea, especially if you are making the journey by train, to drink in the centre of Reading before the game. Dave McKerchar adds; 'The Three Guineas on the station approach has been designated as an away fans pub. It offers a range of eight real ales and is listed in the CAMRA good beer guide. It has a big screen Sky TV and it also does food'. Will Butler a visiting Norwich City fan tells me; 'We were warmly welcomed at the Three Guineas Pub next to the train station. It has Sky Sports, and serves decent grub. The only thing they ask when you enter the pub is that you take your hat off!'
|How To Get There By Car & Where To Park|
|If you are travelling along
the M4 from the west you can see the stadium on your
left. Leave the M4 at Junction 11, bear left on to the
A33 relief road which leads you directly to the
stadium. The Madejski Complex is well signposted from
Kevin Gray informs me; 'Please note that as a recent visitor to Reading it is worth advising away fans that getting off the M4 at Junction 11, westbound can be a bit of a pain. On match days a long tail back can start on the motorway as far as one mile away from this junction. This should be approached with caution and patience. As kick off approaches it can take 40 minutes to complete the journey from the back of the Junction 11 queue to the designated parking sites. So allow extra time for your journey'.
There are also a number of
unofficial car parks in the area sited at
local businesses. One of the easiest to locate
is Worton Grange, which has 1,000 spaces again
at a cost of £8 a car. This large office block
is not far off the M4. After you come off the
motorway at Junction 11, head towards the
stadium and Reading on the A33, turn right at
the first roundabout into Imperial Way and it
is just on the right. It is then about a 10
minute walk to the ground. Bon Hale a visiting
Sheffield United fan informs me; 'We parked in
at a warehouse car park located on Acre Road
at a cost of £5. Passing the Madejski on your
left, follow the A33 for about half a mile,
then turn back on yourself, passing Bennet
Road on your left, and then take the next left
into Acre Road. You will see sign "match
parking", where there is a large warehouse on
the left. It is gated with security. It
is then only a short walk to the ground from
here. We also spotted another matchday car
park in Bennet Road but this cost £10.'
Mark Sugar informs me;
'Don't park in the nearby Business Park, unless
there is an individual unit charging for matchday
parking. You may find yourself with a parking ticket
if you do, or even clamped'.
Post Code for SAT NAV: RG2 0FL
|Reading railway station is
situated just over three miles away from the Madejski
Stadium. Probably the easiest way to get to the ground
is to catch the F1 'Football Special' bus, which
leaves just down from the nearby bus station, commencing at 1pm for Saturday
afternoon games. As you come out of the main
station entrance go straight ahead and
after a short distance
turn right into
Garrard Street (this is a small side road that normally contains taxis
waiting to move off to the
railway station). The bus
station is down the end
of this road on the right.
Stuttard a visiting Leicester City fan informs me;
'I would recommend getting in the bus queue
no later than 45 minutes before kick off as all
football traffic goes down the same dual carriageway to
the stadium'. The fare is £5 return for adults and £3 for children and
normally takes about
fifteen minutes to get to the ground. Please also
have the correct fare in hand as the drivers do not
give out change.
Paul Willems a visiting
Bristol City supporter adds; 'the bus from the
station is good provided that away fans do not
cause any trouble. If you do then the buses (quite
rightly, editor) refuse to pick you up after the
game. I have a bitter experience of this, when the slowest police
escort in history by Thames Valley Police got me
back to the station at 7.30 pm!'
Remember if travelling by train then
you can save on the cost of fares by booking in
advance. Visit the the trainline website to
see how much you can
normally save. Click on the trainline
|Swindon Town, Oxford United and a bit further afield Aldershot Town.|
|Admission Prices For Away Supporters|
West Stand (Upper):*
Adults £30, Over
£22, Under 16's £15
|Official Matchday programme £3.|
|Reading FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).|
details of disabled facilities and club contact at the
ground please visit the relevant page on the
Level Playing Field website.
|Record & Average Attendance|
|At The Madejski Stadium:
24,184 v Everton
Premier League, November 17th, 2012.
At Elm Park:
33,042 v Brentford,
FA Cup 5th Round, February 19th, 1927.
2013-2014: 19,171 (Championship League)
2012-2013: 23,862 (Premier League)
2011-2012: 19,219 (Championship League)
|Fans Reviews Of The Madejski Stadium|
Spring (Neutral) 2/8/14
James Prentice (Doing The 92) 26/1/13
Tom Fry (Fulham) 27/10/12
Patrick McNicholas (Watford) 10/9/11
Matthew Batchelor (Watford) 10/9/11
|If you require hotel
accommodation in the area then first try a hotel
booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all
types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets
from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast
establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced
Apartments. Plus their booking system is
straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will
earn a small commission if you book through them, but
it will go to help with the running costs of keeping
the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes
details of how far away the accommodation is located
from the football ground.
Access their Reading Hotels and Guest Houses page.
Remember that you can use the above link or panel
below to book any other hotels that you may need for
business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.
|View From The Away Section|
Thanks to Haydn Gleed for supplying the video above.
|Location Map Of The Area Around The Madejski Stadium, Railway Station and Pubs|
|If anything is incorrect or
you have something to add, please e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll update the guide.