- Gary Foxall
Select Car Leasing Stadium – Reading FC
Photos by Google
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Select Car Leasing Stadium Shooters Way Reading, England RG2 0FL United Kingdom
Year Opened: 1998
The Mad Stad
Select Car Leasing Stadium is home to the English Football Championship club Reading and was formerly named Madejski Stadium after their Chairman Sir John Madejski. The stadium was built in 1998 following the club's departure from their Elm Park residence of over one hundred years. The stadium has an all-seated capacity of 24,161 and also hosts the home games of the Rugby Union club London Irish.
Food & Beverage 3
Once inside, the stadium is well served by food outlets selling a range of hot dogs, burgers, pies, and stir fry noodles as the vegetarian option. A hot dog retails for £3.20 with tea and coffee priced at £1.50 per cup. Pepsi is slightly overpriced at £2 a cup with lager costing £3 per pint. The kiosks also sell chocolate and crisps.
By Championship standards, Reading is a well-supported club with an average attendance of 18,000. However, despite playing to a three-quarters full stadium for most home games the atmosphere within the ground can at times be quite muted. The noise levels do increase against sides with large away followings, however, this is mainly when Reading plays local derbies or one of the bigger clubs.
The town of Reading is situated in the county of Berkshire and is a mere forty-minute drive from London and Heathrow Airport. The stadium is within easy reach of Junction 11 of the M4 Motorway adjacent to the A33 which runs directly into the Town Centre.
The Mad Stad, as it is nicknamed locally, is a typical new British stadium development situated on the outskirts of town surrounded by retail parks. If it is here that you wish to while away the hours leading up to kick off then it's visiting DIY Superstores that will be the order of the day. There are also fast food outlets here in the form of Pizza Hut, Mcdonald's, and KFC.
A better recommendation would be to take the three-kilometer journey into town where you will find the Oracle Shopping Centre with its selection of High Street stores, Bars, Coffee Shops, and Restaurants including one from the Jamie Oliver range. These are located in the pleasant canal side area of the complex.
Reading supporters are not renowned for being the noisiest in the land, however, the core fan base has grown from approximately eight to eighteen thousand since the club took up residence at the Madejski. Those supporters who wish to spend the duration of the ninety minutes singing and chanting congregate in the East Stand which adjoins the South Stand, the end where away supporters are located.
The stadium is easily reached by a car exiting Junction 11 of the M4 motorway which runs between Bristol and London. There is plenty of parking, but be aware that this is limited to two hours in the retail parks. The official car park is for season tickets and guests only, but paid parking is available for £8 per vehicle and is between a five and ten-minute walk away. The nearest railway station is Reading Central and Bus 50 arrives and departs from directly outside the stadium.
Return on Investment 4
Unless Reading is playing one of the big four then tickets for most matches can be easily purchased in advance over the internet or by arriving early on the day of the game. Ticket prices are £23 and £26 if purchased in advance but rise by £4 if bought on the day. There are discounts for those under 16s and OAPs. This is the average cost of a ticket for the English £10 to increase attendance.
There is the normal superstore selling a wide range of both Reading and London Irish merchandise situated by the main entrance to the stadium. A match day program is available for all home games priced at £3. All sporting venues in Britain are now nonsmoking areas, however, Reading allows supporters out onto the concourse at halftime to enable smokers to get their fix, which is particularly needed when their team is losing.