All the details for travel to Madjeski Stadium on Saturday.
The Championship is no stranger to clubs with new stadiums built to comply with the Taylor Report and one of the newer additions is Reading’s Madejski Stadium - adjacent to the M4 motorway – is one of those that celebrates its 20th year of existence later this year.
Historically a club that hovered between divisions three and four, the Royals were promoted to Division One in 1994 and thus became subject to the regulations laid out in the 1990 report. Their Elm Park home – where the record attendance of 33,042 was set in an FA Cup game against the Bees in 1927 - was unsuitable to be redeveloped into a modern all-seater, meaning a new site at Smallmead was earmarked and later, in 1998, became the club’s permanent home, named after chairman Sir John Madejski.
Two decades on from the move, the stadium has hosted both of Reading’s Premier League campaigns, elevating the club to the status of an established second tier club. But, since the turn of the millennium, it has also been the home of rugby union side London Irish, who themselves are set to become co-residents of Brentford’s new home at Lionel Road in the next few years.
Brentford have faced the Royals at the Madejski six times since it’s opening and have won three of those meetings, the last coming in December 2015 when a Ryan Woods strike and ‘that’ goal from Sergi Canos secured a 2-1 triumph.
The club have received 1,527 tickets for the trip down the M4, with significant discounts for season ticket holders and club members who buy in advance: adult tickets are priced at £20 (£25 non-members), £13 for seniors (£16), Young Person £10 (£13) and juniors £5 (£8). A number of family ticket combinations are also available to buy in advance.
Did you know?
Built on the site of a former household waste landfill, the Madejski Stadium site was acquired for a nominal fee of £1 and, thanks to its’ former use, is surrounded by chimney-like vents to prevent the build-up of methane gas.
How to get there
The 36-mile journey from Griffin Park to the Madejski Stadium by road is one of the simpler journeys for drivers as the stadium is adjacent to junction 11 of the M4. Joining the motorway at junction 2 – minutes away from the Bees home ground - drivers should exit around 45 minutes later and follow signs to the stadium, which is almost impossible to miss. Those mindful of early arrival due to a parking previous coming at a premium should not worry as there are several good parking options available to fans at the Berkshire club’s home, which - as the club state on their website – have been open to both home and away fans on matchdays and not been used to their capacity yet. The Old Greyhound Stadium (£10 per match, payable on the day) and Cordwallis (£10 per match, payable on the day) have plenty of space to accommodate home and away fans. There are also a range of Park & Ride services from Amec Foster Wheeler and Mereoak – parking is FREE and return tickets are £4 per adult, £2 per child, or £5 for a group ticket for up to five people (max three adults) – and, for the first time this season, fans can also pre-book and park at the Garrard Street car park next to Reading Station click here (£5 for up to five hours or £8 for up to eight hours), and then use the F1 shuttle to reach Madejski Stadium.
Reading station is around half an hour’s journey direction from Paddington, with a return ticket priced at £20.30 for adults and £10.15 for children. Passengers can then use the aforementioned F1 shuttle to take the journey to and from the stadium, with a return costing just £2 for an adult
Where to eat/drink
With the site having been completely overhauled from its wasteland past, the stadium is the centrepiece of a development that sits three miles away from the town centre proper, meaning that the mobile catering units close to the stadium are the primary option - within walking distance, at least. If food is what you’re after, there’s the Reading Gate Retail Park a short stroll away that features the usual suspects of the fast food world.
Pub-wise, there is a Holiday Inn with an Irish-themed bar called Callaghan’s 15-minutes walk from the stadium, as well as ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ on Basingstoke Road, a chain pub popular with both home and away fans. Attached to the station is designated away pub ‘The Three Guineas’, while the Greyfriar is another mixed venue on Greyfriar Road and, close to the home fans only ‘Yates Bar’, you’ll find the Walkabout in an alleyway off Friar Street.