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The stadium exterior


The Madejski Stadium is a football stadium in Readingmarker, Berkshire, Englandmarker. The stadium is named after Reading Football Club's chairman John Madejski.

Overview

The stadium is the home of Reading Football Club and 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. The rugby union club, London Irish, also play their home games there as tenants, although Londonmarker is some 40 miles to the east. It also provides the finish for the Reading Half Marathon.

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. The site used to be a landfill, and Reading Borough Council sold the land to the club for £1.

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. Work will not happen in summer 2008, to extend the stadium, due to Reading's second season in the Premiership not being as good as the first, and so there has been a fall in attendances..



Stands

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. The other half remains unused unless Reading or the visiting team require extra seats. Like the North Stand it is not normally used by London Irish.

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 dugout are on this side of the stadium.

The outside of the stand contains the Millennium Madejski Hotelmarker.

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 Waspsmarker on March 16, 2008.

References

External links







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