Reading Football Club, Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 0FLBy Car - From the North join the M4 or take the A34 from Oxford. From all directions turn off the M4 at junction 11, and head along the A33 towards Reading. If you're coming from the South then take the A33 which runs North into Reading. In the summer of 1999 the new A33 relief was, at last, completed - which means in a matter of minutes (well less than the hour it took when the stadium first opened) you'll find yourself driving straight towards the stadium. The A33 runs right past the ground so you can't go wrong. If you're coming from the M4 direction just keep in the left hand lane and when you hit the ground take the first left up the hill if you're parking at the ground. Click on the map on the right for a bigger map. For available car parking information see below - the official car park at the stadium is usually sold out in advance.
By Train - Get the train to Reading Main station. Reading Station is on a large number of cross country routes, so it's easy enough. You're unlikely to, but make sure you don't get off at Reading West. Then catch the number 79 bus from the station to the ground. Buses go directly from the station from the bus stops diagonally opposite the main entrance. After the game there will be a large queue down the hill (town side) for the 79 shuttle bus back to town.
By Bus - After catching the train or finding yourself in the town centre for some reason your best bet is to catch the number 79 "Football Special" bus from outside the main railway station. If you walk out of the main entrance you'll see buses leaving from just along opposite the road entrance to the Three Guineas Station pub. Number 79 buses run every 15 minutes from a couple of hours before the kick-off and take roughly 15 minutes to get to the ground. The number 79 bus service is shared between home and away fans travelling to and from the ground from town. The return journey leaves frequently after the final whistle from the layby down the hill away from the North side of the ground.
By Taxi - If you're running a bit late for a bus then Taxis leave from immediately outside the main entrance of the station (opposite the Three Guineas pub) and will cost a bit short of a tenner to get you to the ground. Whatever, you'll need to make sure you're on your way out of the town centre at least half an hour before kick-off or you'll miss the start for certain!
Oh dear. A very, very sensitive issue this one I'm afraid with all home fans. And after you've visited the Mad House you'll find it a sensitive one too. The options that the club will give you involve using one of car parks below. Please note that prices are relevant for the 2005/2006 season and may increase (along with the cost of everything else) for our first season in the top flight.
Official Car Park
The official car park at the stadium is often sold out in advance of the game thanks to car park season tickets and pre-paid vouchers. Although it's possible to get a space - you're not likely to. It's best to avoid the official car park and head to one of the other sign-posted alternatives.
£5. Not recommended!
Speedway track car park
The speedway/greyhound car park is right next to ground, nearer to town. If you're coming form the motorway junction then just drive past the ground and you'll see this on your immediate left. This car park is your best option if you've arrived with an hour or so to go before kick-off. However it fills up quickly! The car park is cunningly signposted "Reading Stadium". This is the official Reading Stadium as it was here years before the Madejski was built.
£5. Best bet for early arrivals.
Compaq / Digital / Whatever they're called nowdays car park
The big computer company that keeps changing their name or getting sold or bought or whatever, lend out their car park on matchdays to travelling and home fans. The car park is a multi-storey car park between the stadium and the motorway junction. Turn off the A33 along Imperial Way, signposted "Madejski Stadium Park and Walk". The good news is you'll almost certainly find a space in here unless it's a sell out game at the stadium (rare). So no problem for late arrivals. It's a fifteen minute walk to the away end from here though - so allow some spare time. The price is a total rip-off at £5 - you can park for free down Imperial Way if you arrive very early for the game, as the road doesn't have parking restrictions during evenings or Saturdays! Further bad news is the hour queue to get out at the end of the game.
£5. Good option for a near guaranteed space.
Foster Wheeler Park and Ride
There are 500 spaces if you don't mind parking and then catching a bus from outside the town. Follow the B3270 (signposted Earley from the Junction 11 roundabout). This car park isn't always open (ie. for the smaller midweek games) - you are advised to check with the club on 0118 968 1100 before heading off down this road.
Fine if you don't want to chance the other car parks and have a bit of spare time. Cheap too.
Most of the home fans will park in the surrounding area and walk anything up to half an hour to avoid getting stuck in the traffic. Fine if you know the spots but slightly trickier for away fans. Perhaps the best solution is to park somewhere in town (plenty of multi-storey car parks in the town centre) and get the number 79 bus from the station (see above). You can park at the railway station, or Gerrards Street car park in the town centre is also near the bus stop. The problem here is that town centre car parks are at least a pound an hour, so can be costly. It's also possible to park on the other side of the M4 (ie. not town side) if you don't mind a half hour walk. Our suggestion would be to find one of the pubs out this way and perhaps get some food and beer in exchange for a car park space. Finally, an alternative is to make a purchase from one of the big superstores on the surrounding industrial estates (B&Q is right next to the ground). You didn't hear that here.
Inside The Ground - You'll find food outlets in the concourse of the South (away) Stand. It's pretty pricey as you'd expect from a new fancy all seater stadium, but at least it's not too bad. In fact, now the Royals are in the Premiership visiting fans will be used to stupid prices for below average food. See, we're all set for the Premiership already. Your best bet is probably a pie - the chicken Balti's are normally good but watch out for them being served cold or burnt to a crisp. Catering is not the Madejski's speciality - so if you're in town before the game make sure you get some food in one of the pubs. Queues are normally pretty bad, unless you're one of the 37 people who've made the trip from Wigan.
Outside the Ground - There's burger vans outside the ground selling the same quality of food for slightly cheaper. But remember to use them before you get inside if you're going to. They also have a bigger supply of onions for your Hot Dog. There's a drive-through McDonalds on the A33 right next to the ground. Next door to McDonalds, just two minutes from the ground, is a KFC and a take-away Pizza Hut. So there's plenty of choice for fast food. For pub food see below:
As the ground is stuck on near the Motorway in an industrial estate, pubs are very limited. The only ones in close walking distance are the Post House (you won't get in there I promise), or the Harvester one on the Basingstoke Road (old A33 road that is). The Harvester will be good for families though and reliable for pub food before the match. The other option, The Engineers Arms in Whitley, closed down recently due to the number of fights in there - nothing to do with the football though - just the local folk enjoying themselves at the weekend.
Your best bet is to use the town centre for pre-match beer and then make use of that wonderful number 79 bus again. Most pubs in the town centre are strictly non-football colours though. So unless you cover up well be prepared to get turned around. If you've come by train or want to be close to the bus stop you can try the Three Guineas at the station. The Forum opposite the station, which used to be the Firkin, will only let you in if they don't think you're a football fan! For full information on Reading pubs try www.readingpubs.co.uk
You're more than likely all coloured-up for your away trip - in which case you might as well buy beer inside the ground. Normal rules apply - you can buy beer up to 15 minutes before the kick-off assuming they have the same rule for away fans. The options are pints of Courage Best Bitter, Forsters lager or Guiness.
If you don't mind a bit of a drive or a long walk, or just fancy beating the parking and traffic problems, then you can try the pubs outside of town in the other direction.
Madejski Stadium, Junction 11, M4, Reading, RG2 0FL
"Of course I'm going to be slightly biased. However, the ground is simply stunning, and to prove it won third place in a Match of the Day magazine poll of the best grounds to visit in the UK behind Old Trafford and Highbury." I wrote that bit a few seasons ago. Now we're in the top tier it's less relevant and the Madejski Stadium will probably be seen as a small ground that's the same old new ground forumla. High-tech bowl design to seat just over 24,000 people. Of course it's all seater, covered all around, with a raised roof and no gaps in the seating. Shit loads of leg room give you maximum comfort and wherever you sit you'll get a great view. There's also great facilities for disabled away fans. For the blind there are facilities in the West Stand with radio commentary - call the club on 0118 968 1000. The Stadium was recently voted as the number one sub-30,000 seater ground in the whole of Europe - quite some award.
The stadium has served us well - last season (2005/2006) was the first time we managed to sell out each week. If we survive in the Premiership then the ground is designed to allow for the height of the stands to be increased to get in more seats.
Away fans are located in the South Stand behind one goal. A bit of netting on each side seperates the South Stand from the East and West. When seated look to your right for the core of the home support in the East Stand. The West stand to your left is filled with people with money, and the stand opposite is becoming increasingly popular. Get in the South Stand through gates 9 and 10. Depending on the game away fans will be allocated anything up to 4,000 tickets.
All seated. And so all seated prices.
Prices were dramatically increased for the 2006/2007 season after we won promotion to the top flight for the first time in the clubs history.
Contact your club for tickets as they will almost certainly no longer be for sale on the gate.
Ticket Office: 0118 9681000
General Enquiries: 0118 9681100
Reading Buses: 0118 959 4000
If you're staying over in Reading for the night after the football try one of the following places for reasonable accomodation:
Madesjki Stadium - Millennium Hotel - No where to travel after the game!
Renaissance Hotel - Right in Reading town centre
Holiday Inn Reading - Just on the edge of the town centre on the River Thames
Travelodge Reading West - The cheaper option out of town...
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