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Reading FC
Madejski Stadium

Capacity: 24,200 (all seated)
Address: Bennett Road, Reading, RG2 0FL
Main Telephone No: 0118 968 1100
Fax No: 0118 968 1101
Ticket Office: 0844 249 1871
Ticket Office Fax: 0870 999 1001
Team Nickname: The Royals
Pitch Size:
102 x 70 metres
Year Ground Opened: 1998
Shirt Sponsors: Waitrose
Home Kit Colours: Royal Blue & White
Away Kit Colours: Grey With Red Trim
Kit Manufacturers: Puma
Official Web Site:
www.readingfc.co.uk
Unofficial Web Sites:
Vital Reading (Vital Football Network)
Hob Nob Anyone?

Royals Rendevous Forum



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Contents
What's The Madejski Stadium Like?
Future Developments

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)
By Train
Local Rivals
Admission Prices For Away Supporters
Programme
Fixtures 2014-2015
Ground Layout

Disabled Facilities
Record & Average Attendance
Fans Ground Reviews
Hotel Accommodation
View From The Away Stand
(photo)
Madejski Stadium Location Map



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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.

Future Developments

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.

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Madejski Stadium


External view 

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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'.

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East Stand


East Stand

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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!'

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West Stand


 West Stand

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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 Junction 11.

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'.

Car Parking
There is some limited parking available at the stadium itself for a cost of 10, but it can be a bit of lengthy process to get out of the car park at the end of the game. Richard Buckingham adds; 'You can also park on the site of the now demolished greyhound track, close to the stadium,. From the M4 at Junction 11 take the A33 towards Reading town centre. Follow the dual carriageway past the stadium and McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut outlets, then look for the 'Alternative Parking' signs ahead. On the left you will reach a small slip road into the parking site (which incidentally is an official stadium car park). It has 500 spaces and costs 8 to park there. It is stewarded and has the advantage of a quick post-match exit either back to J11 or towards Reading. The car park is a 5-10 minute walk away from the ground.'

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'.

Alternatively the Club operate a 'Park & Ride' scheme at Foster Wheeler at Shinfield Park. Parking is free but the costs for the return shuttle bus are; Adults 4, Children 2.50. From Junction 11 of the M4, take the B3270 towards Earley and then follow the signs to 'Football Car Park C'. The car park opens at 1pm for Saturday afternoon games with the first bus departing at 1:30pm. Supporters should not attempt to park in the residential estate next to Foster Wheeler. As there is a residents only parking scheme is in place as well as an active clamping company in operation.

Map showing the location of the Madejski Stadium (at the bottom of this page).

Post Code for SAT NAV: RG2 0FL

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View From The Away Section On Matchday


Looking towards the North Stand on matchday

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By Train
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. Dave 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!' 

Nicholas Small provides the following walking directions from the railway station to the ground:'I would estimate that the ground is about three miles away from Reading Station, and that unless you walk quite quickly, the journey could take over an hour: Leaving the station, head straight up the road in front of you, crossing over Friar Street onto Queen Victoria Street and heading towards the town centre. Upon reaching Broad Street, you will find yourself opposite the John Lewis store. Cross and head down a narrow passageway (Chain Street) which runs down the right hand side of John Lewis. Soon, you reach a churchyard, which you can cross, bearing right, to the corner of Gun Street and Bridge Street. Cross to the other side of Bridge Street and continue down, turning right into Fobney Street. At the end here, you will soon encounter a couple of blue footpath/cyclepath signs, which point the way to the Madejski Stadium. These will lead you down the left hand footpath alongside the busy A329, which becomes the A33 after about 1200 yards. Keep following this road and eventually you will come to a roundabout. Take the road ahead and continue walking along the roadside. You will briefly walk along a dirt track by the roadside as the A33 crosses a waterway, before walking down the bank to the towpath. The towpath now continues straight ahead towards the stadium, still following the blue cycle path signs. You can't miss it from here, but it is still at least a further 15 minutes walk away'.

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 logo below:

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Local Rivals
Swindon Town, Oxford United and a bit further afield Aldershot Town.

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Admission Prices For Away Supporters

West Stand (Upper):* Adults 30, Over 65's/Under 21's 22, Under 16's 15

All other areas of the stadium:*
Adults 25
Over 65's/Under 21's 17
Under 16's 10


* The prices above are for tickets purchased prior to matchday and are purchased by a Reading club member or an away club (for that fixture) season ticket holder. Tickets bought by non members can cost up to 2 more in advance and on the day of the game can cost up to 5 more.

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Programme
Official Matchday programme 3.

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Ground Layout


Madejski Stadium Reading Layout

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Fixtures 2014-2015
Reading FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

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Disabled Facilities
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the
Level Playing Field website.

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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.

Average Attendance:
2013-2014: 19,171
(Championship League)
2012-2013: 23,862 (Premier League)
2011-2012: 19,219 (Championship League)

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Fans Reviews Of The Madejski Stadium
James 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

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Hotel Accommodation
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. 
 

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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



 

Feedback
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me duncan@footballgroundguide.com and I'll update the guide.




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Copyright Duncan Adams
All rights reserved
Last Updated: 9 August 2014