Madjeski Stadium: Reading

Junction 11, M4, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 0FL
By John Fielding from Norwich, UK [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Despite the fact that The Madjeski Stadium was built on the site of a former waste dump and has methane vents on all sides of it, the ground itself is far from rubbish. It was opened in 1998 as a replacement for the club’s former ground, Elm Park. Despite the desire to regenerate their old ground in order to comply with the Taylor Report, it was decided that a new stadium would make more sense for the Berkshire club.

It cost the club over £50 million to build the new stadium, including three-quarters of a million being invested in a new pitch that has a mix of synthetic fibres and natural grass. The pitch is designed to be able to be used for either football or rugby matches, with London Irish also calling The Madjeski home since 2000. The Aviva Premiership side followed the lead of Richmond FC who used the stadium for a season between 1998 and 1999.

Stats

Madjeski Stadium Stats
Year Opened1998
Capacity24,161
Average Attendance17,903
Record Attendance24,184 (Reading v Everton (2012))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
OwnerRFC Holdings Ltd
Clubs HostedReading F.C., Richmond F.C., London Irish
First FixtureReading v Luton Town (22/08/1998)
Reading Stats
Year Founded1871
NicknameThe Royals
Club MascotKingsley Royal
RivalsAldershot Town, Oxford United, Swindon Town
Previous StadiumsReading Recreation Ground, Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park, Caversham Cricket Ground, Elm Park
KitBlue & White (Home) / Purple (Away)
Training GroundHogwood Park
Shirt SponsorThai Airways
Team OwnerNarin Niruttinanon
Record GoalscorerTrevor Senior (191)
Record AppearancesMartin Hicks (603)

Madjeski Stadium Photos

Madjeski Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By Forces77 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

As is the case with the majority of new build stadiums, The Madjeski is built in a ‘Bowl Style’, as opposed to the more common ‘English Style’ of four individual stands. There are still four individual sections to the ground, though, and here’s a little bit of detail on each:

  • The North Stand - This single-tiered structure can house just shy of 5000 supporters and houses the club’s ‘Fun Zone’.
  • The South Stand - This is another single-tiered stand and it normally houses the away fans.
  • The East Stand - This is the final single-tiered stand and runs along the side of the pitch.
  • The West Stand - The only two-tiered structure in the ground, this is considered to be the main stand at The Madjeski. It houses the dugouts, hospitality boxes and the player’s tunnel.

Reading Ticket Prices

Understanding Reading Football Club’s ticket structure is simultaneously easy and really rather complicated. On the one had they don’t categorise their matches though they do charge more or less depending on where in the ground you’d like to sit. What they also do is offer discounts for Members, charge more if you leave it until match day to buy your ticket, offer family prices for multiple tickets and offer four-match bundles if you want to purchase tickets for several matches at the same time.

Here are the cheapest and most expensive non-member match day prices for adults and concessions:

  • Adults: £28 - £33
  • Concessions: £18 - £23

How To Get Reading Tickets

Like with most top clubs with large fanbases, the Reading FC official website is an excellent place to start if you’re hoping to buy tickets. You can also call the ticket office directly or drop in there in person.

Getting To Madjeski Stadium

Move Map
Swap Start/End

Reading is, in essence, a commuter village for people who don’t want to live in London, so it’s not that difficult to get to. Here are some of the more standard routes you’ll probably want to think about:

Train - The closest train stop to The Madjeski Stadium is Reading Railway Station, though it’s still about an hour’s walk away from the ground. Direct trains from London Paddington to Reading take between 25 minutes and an hour depending on where else they stop at, whilst from a Northern city like Manchester a direct train takes about three hours or it’ll take three and a half hours to head into London and then back out again.

Bus - There are no fewer than seventeen bus services that run from the Reading area towards The Madjeski Stadium. If you know where you’re heading from then you can have a look at www.reading-buses.co.uk/football for more specific information.

Car - The Madjeski Stadium is literally just off the M4, so as long as you can get there then you can get to the ground without much bother. From London, for example, you’ll want to take the A4 onto the M4 then come off at Junction 11 where you’ll see the ground. From the North you’ll want the M6 then the M42 onto the M40 before taking the A34. Exit that onto the M4 then follow the instructions from the South. The main thing to remember is M4, Junction 11.

By Air - Reading is close to London and London is served by a host of airports. The nearest one to the city is Heathrow Airport and from there you can either get a couple of trains or the bus to Reading itself.

Taxi - A taxi from Reading Railway Station to The Madjeski Stadium will take something like ten minutes and cost you just under fifteen quid.

Parking Near Madjeski Stadium

There is some limited parking at the stadium itself that’s available for around £8, though the club recommends opting for one of its off-site car parks if you’re hoping to drive to The Madjeski. There sites include Foster Wheeler at Shinfield Park, Mereoak Park & Ride, the Greyhound / Speedway Stadium and Cornwallis on Bennet Road.

Useful Resources

Madjeski Stadium Hotels

If you are particularly keen to get away from the bright lights of London then that’s fine, Reading has plenty to offer all of its own. Here are some of our favourite hotels for you to consider:

The Reading Lake Hotel - £60+

Stadium Pingewood, Reading, RG30 3UN
A little further afield than the other two hotels at just under four miles from The Madjeski is this member of the Best Western chain of hotels. It has both a business centre and a fitness centre as well as a restaurant and a bar. There’s also a conference space and free parking, which is just as well as it’s a bit of a drive to the ground. More details.

Best Western Plus Reading Moat House Hotel - £80+

Mill Lane, Sindlesham, Wokingham, RG41 5DF
A little further afield than the other two hotels at just under four miles from The Madjeski is this member of the Best Western chain of hotels. It has both a business centre and a fitness centre as well as a restaurant and a bar. There’s also a conference space and free parking, which is just as well as it’s a bit of a drive to the ground. More details.

Millennium Madejski Hotel Reading - £100+

Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Based at the stadium itself this quality hotel promises a restaurant, a bar, a full-service spa and an indoor pool. There’s always a conference centre, a health club and free-parking for those of you that want to drive. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Madjeski Stadium

Much like with the hotels, you’re going to get the most choice for your drinking needs if you stay in London and commute to Berkshire for the game. If you want to know where the best pre-match places for a pint are in the centre of Reading, though, then here are some of our tips:

The Pavlov's Dog

21-23 St Mary's Butts, Reading, RG1 2LN (0118 951 9001)
The Pavlov’s Dog underwent a refurbishment at the start of 2015 so it’s looking rather pleasant now. They offer craft lagers, lots of different drinks and a large beer garden for the summer. They’ve also got a pool table and they have a host of TVs to watch live sport on.

Walkabout Reading

Wiston Terrace, Off Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1DG (0118 953 0000)
You can’t go too far wrong with a Walkabout if you’re looking for somewhere to find a bit of sport. They serve standard pub grub, good drink options and promise good banter all around.

Yates Reading

The Former Post Office, 7-9 Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1DB (0118 959 7090)
Located smack bang in the town centre, Reading’s branch of Yates promises food, drink and plenty of TVs to watch all of the sport you can handle. They’ve also got two HD projectors to make sure you don’t miss a minute of the action.

Facilities

The views from pretty much everywhere in the ground are superb, with excellent legroom also on offer for all. The ground does lack a little bit of personality but it’s functional and you’ll have access to everything you’d expect on the concourses. There are kiosks where you can buy programmes, drinks and food before and during the game.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.50
  • Cup of tea: 2.00
  • Beer: 4.50

Hospitality

There are a number of different lounges at The Madjeski Stadium that offer hospitality, with each lounge promising its own individual experience. Here we’ll outline some of the most exciting ones and what you can expect to get from them:

  • The Royal Suite - Here you’ll receive private table dining, a three-course meal with half a bottle of wine, refreshments at both half-time and full-time plus a private bar facility and a reserved car parking space.
  • The Premier Suite - This is a pitch-facing lounge that offers a two-course meal before the game, half-time refreshments, access to a bar and padded seats in The South Stand.
  • The Trophy Room - Why not dine in the exciting surroundings of the club’s trophy room? You’ll sit on a shared table whilst you enjoy a two-course carvery meal, half-time and full-time refreshments, a dedicated host and premier seating near to the Director’s Box.
  • The 1871 Suite - This is more like a standard pub rather than an executive lounge, though you don’t have to put up with the drunken bore in the corner. Well, maybe not. You’ll get a pub dinner, access to a bar and a VIP seat in The North Stand.

Private Hire

The Royal Berkshire Conference Centre is based inside The Madjeski Stadium, so it’s fair to say that there’s some dedicated private hire options at Reading’s home ground. Whether you’re looking to host something small like a private dinner or a business meeting or something much larger like a conference or an exhibition, The RBCC have got you covered. They even allow their executive boxes to be hired by the hour, should you wish to just host a quick meeting in exciting surroundings.

Stadium Tours & Museum

The club runs stadium tours on a semi-regularly basis, so it’s also worth checking in with the official channels to see if there’s one running on the day you’re going to be in town. If there is then you’ll be treated to a real behind-the-scenes treat, taking in the dressing rooms, the player’s lounge, the tunnel and the dug-out. You’ll also get to see what the view is like from the Director’s Box and you’ll be able to sit where the manager sits when he’s addressing the press.

Tours cost £12 for adults, with concessions and juniors paying £7. Members get 25% discount, too. The club doesn’t currently have a museum but the tour does take in the trophy room where you’ll be able to see their two Championship trophies as well as the club’s honours.

About Reading

Reading F.C. supporters at Elm Park stadium, 1913 - By Unknown, presumed deceased (http://www.chrisdlee.com/page5.htm) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Reading Football Club is often known to their fans as The Royals, owing to the fact that the club is based in the Royal County of Berkshire. It’s perhaps a slightly better nickname than The Biscuitmen, the moniker that the club had previously thanks to the town’s association with the company Huntley and Palmers. Interesting the club is one of the oldest in England, having been formed in 1871, but only joined the Football League in 1920 and didn’t play in the country’s top league until 2006.

Reading own a couple of somewhat bizarre statistical claims to fame. They hold the record for the number of successive league wins at the start of a season thanks to the thirteen games in a row they won at the beginning of the 1985-1986 season. They also gained the record for the most number of points won in a professional league season when they won 106 during their 2005-2006 Championship campaign.

Madjeski Stadium History

By Mark Hillary from São Paulo, Brazil (Madejski Stadium - Reading) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Despite seeing the club play in the top-flight for the first ever time, The Madjeski Stadium doesn’t actually have a whole heap of history to speak of. The majority of Reading’s life as a football club - 102 years, in fact - was spent playing at Elm Park. They wanted to stay there originally but realised it would cost too much money to bring the ground up to the standard required to comply with the Taylor Report, drawn up in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster.

The Madjeski Stadium took its name from the club’s long-term owner and chairman, Sir John Madjeski. As well as hosting Reading matches and rugby games for London Irish, the ground has also been used as the location for four England Under-21 internationals to date. They have one of those games and won the other three with a combined score of 12-1. In 2006 it was used as the venue for a charity match of celebrities and legends from England and Germany to raise money for The Bobby Moore Fund and The British Red Cross.

Future Developments

The Madjeski Stadium has the ability to be expanded to house around 37,000 spectators, with numerous attempts having been made to achieve this when the club were in the Premier League. Their subsequent relegation meant that these plans were put on hold, with the hierarchy unlikely to carry out the expansion until Reading have established themselves regularly in the top-flight.

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