Madejski Stadium

The Madejski Stadium ( /məˈdeɪski/) is a stadium in Reading, Berkshire, England. The stadium is the home of Reading Football Club and to the rugby union club London Irish as tenants. It also provides the finish for the Reading Half Marathon. The stadium is named after Reading F.C.'s chairman John Madejski.


It is an all-seater bowl stadium with a capacity of 24,161 and is located close to the M4 motorway. It was built on the site of a former household waste dump and the stadium is surrounded by methane vents. The stadium cost more than £50m to build and the pitch incorporates a system of synthetic fibres interwoven with natural grass, installed at a cost of more than £750,000.

It was opened on 22 August 1998 when Luton Town were beaten 3–0 with Grant Brebner having the honour of scoring the first goal at the stadium. Plans for the stadium had first been unveiled some three years previously, when chairman John Madejski had decided that Elm Park was unsuitable for redevelopment as an all-seater stadium and that relocation to a new site was necessary.

It was officially opened on 10 September 1998 by Birgitte, the Duchess of Gloucester.

For the first time in their history, Reading Football Club participated in the Premier League in the 2006–07 season. As a result of the sell-out crowds for their first few fixtures of the season, the club announced their intention, in October 2006, to make a planning application to extend the ground to between 37,000 to 38,000 seats. The application was made on 24 January 2007, proposing initially the extension of the East Stand with a further 6,000 seats (raising capacity to around 30,000) and subsequently extension of the North and South Stands to reach the full proposed capacity. On Thursday 24 May 2007 it was announced that planning permission had been granted to extend the stadium to a capacity of 36,900. The first phase will expand the East Stand by 6,600 seats. Work was set to start in mid 2008, after the initial plan of extending in 2007 was scrapped due to spectator seats being affected, during the work, already being sold to season ticket holders. Reading's relegation from the Premier League in 2008 meant that all expansion plans were put on hold and are unlikely to resurface at least until promotion back to the Premier League is achieved.

North Stand

In November 2004 the capacity was said to be 4946 including 39 spaces for wheelchairs. This stand is normally left unused for London Irish games.

South Stand

The South Stand has a capacity of 4350 and is where visiting supporters sit for Reading F.C. games. The initial allocation visiting teams receive is 2327 and is the half of the stand joining onto the East Stand. Under the terms of the original lease, London Irish only utilised the South Stand for the most popular matches. However, since the renegotiation and extension of the lease, the South Stand is used for all London Irish matches and season tickets have been sold for the stand since the 2008/2009 season. The stand has a large TV screen in the top corner of it which shows replays, team news, other scores etc.

East Stand

As of November 2004 this stand had a capacity of 7286 including 28 spaces for wheelchairs. The stadium's video screen is located in the corner of the stand joining onto the South Stand.

West Stand

This stand contains a lower and an upper tier, but the upper level does not overhang the lower tier. Executive boxes are found between the two tiers. The tunnel and dugouts are on this side of the stadium.

The outside of the stand contains the Millennium Madejski Hotel.

Stadium Plan
London Irish

On 11 January 2008 it was announced that London Irish reached an agreement to continue playing home games at the Madejski Stadium until 2026. Irish have seen their average crowds grow to more than 11,100 since moving to Reading in 2000, holding the record for the biggest Premiership attendance at a club ground, when 23,709 people saw Irish play Wasps on March 16, 2008. This record stood until 19 Sept 2009, when Leicester opened their new stand to 24,000.

The Madejski Stadium topped a poll of rugby fans as the "best environment in which to watch rugby". The survey, conducted for Rugby World magazine, was completed by almost 1,500 rugby fans. The Madejski Stadium received nearly a quarter of all votes as the ground which offered supporters the best facilities on a match day.


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