Madejski Stadium was opened on 22 August 1998, replacing Reading Football Club’s previous home ground of Elm Park. The 24,161 all-seater capacity stadium is located in Reading, Berkshire and it is named after the club’s chairman Sir John Madejski.
The Madejski cost around £50m to construct and comprises four stands; the Eamonn Dolan Stand, the South Stand, the East Stand, and the West Stand.
Following the Taylor Report in 1990 which made all-seater stadiums compulsory in the top two divisions of English Football for the 1994-95 season, Reading became subject to the new requirements having been crowned champions of Division Two in 1994.
It was deemed to be impractical to convert Elm Park into an all-seater stadium, therefore construction began on the Madejski in 1997. The Royals began the 1998-99 season at their new home, and the ground was opened for the first time on 22 August 1998 when Luton Town were beaten 3-0 with Grant Brebner scoring the first-ever goal at the stadium.
Following the death of academy manager Eamonn Dolan in 2016, Reading announced that the North Stand would now be renamed as The Eamonn Dolan Stand. The stand has a capacity of almost 5,000 and it includes 25 spaces for wheelchairs also. The South Stand has a capacity of 4,350, whereas the East and West Stands have well over 7,000 seats each.
Readings early days playing at Madejski Stadium were not plain sailing by any means as they were spent in Division Two. Since 1999 however, the Royals have enjoyed many fortunes, winning promotion to Division One in 2002, and racing the Premier League in 2006 for the first time in history. Madejski Stadium hosted its first international game in September 1999, when England’s under-21 side took on Luxembourg in front of almost 20,000 fans. The Madejski also staged a Rugby League World Cup match back at the start of the millennium when New Zealand thrashed the Cook Islands in autumn.
Upon arrival to the Premier League in 2006, Reading often experienced sell-out crowds at the Madejski, and as a result, the club applied for planning permission to extend the ground to around 38,000 seats. Permission had been granted; however, plans were put on hold due to Readings relegation from the top flight in 2008, before being revived in 2012 when they made a return.
Having suffered relegation once again from the top tier in 2013, plans have been left untouched. The club’s record attendance of 24,184 apparently exceeded the stadium’s stated capacity somehow on 17 November 2012 during a Premier League game against Everton.
Adult ticket prices range from £18-24 for members of the club, over-65s can go from £13, 18-24s from £10, under-17s from £5, and under-12s for just £2. Season tickets for adults are priced from £299 which equates to just £13 per game.
https://www.readingfc.co.uk/ – Official website of Reading FC
https://ticketing.readingfc.co.uk/ – Reading FC Ticket Office