The Madejski Stadium - Royals New Home

For the latest piccies you can try the following (I haven't had much time to get the piccies in here):

Stadium Update: 24 February 1998

Ticket Prices For Madejski Stadium

Match Ticket Prices 1998-99
pre-purchased purchased on the day
West Stand Upper Level
Adult 18 20
West Stand Ground Level
Adult 12 14
Concessions 7 8
Young Royals 6 6
Disabled 6 7
East Stand (Unreserved Seating)
Adult 12 14
Concessions 7 8
Young Royals 6 6
Disabled 6 7
North Stand
Adult 12 14
Concessions 7 8
Young Royals 6 6
Disabled 6 7

Season Ticket Prices 1998-1999
1997/98 Season Ticket Holders New Season Ticket Holders
purchase by 29/5/98 purchase from 1/6/98 purchase by 29/5/98 purchase from 1/6/98
West Stand Upper Level
Adult 320 360 340 380
Concessions 190 210 200 220
Young Royals 100 110 100 110
West Stand Ground Level
Adult 225 255 240 270
Concessions 130 145 135 150
Young Royals 80 100 80 100
East Stand
Adult 225 255 240 270
Concessions 130 145 135 150
Young Royals 80 100 80 100
North Stand
Adult 225 255 240 270
Concessions 130 145 135 150
Young Royals 80 100 80 100

Stadium Update: 15 January 1998

West Stand Here is a picture of the West Stand, the main stand of the Madejski Stadium, taken around Christmas. Click on the image for a full screen image.

Stadium Update: 13 November 1997

Here's the latest piccie of the ground.

Stadium Update: 30 October 1997

Thanks to Dean Madden for this lot:

The plans we've seen in the papers have tended to be from one or two angles, and have generally lacked details of the interior layout - which I can now reveal to you...

Starting below ground level:
The away team has just four baths in its shower room while our lads have six! The referee and visiting officials each have rooms with their own private loos. There is a TV interview room next to the home changing room. Paul Turner -or his successor- has a fairly big suite, with his own office, physio warm-up room, another room with 3 couches and a rehab gym. There is also a laundry and tea room down there, plus rooms for the coaches and manager and a boot room. Both changing rooms have underfloor heating (I guess the rotting stuff beneath the site will keep it fairly warm down there).

Ground level (i.e. slightly above the pitch)
The players' tunnel comes up to this level and is flanked on both sides by the dugouts. There's an exhibition area in that bit the juts out from the main stadium that you may have seen in previous drawings. Next to this is the players' lounge and bar. Nearby are the reception area and a large area devoted to banquetting administation. There's also a creche and Junior Royals Club, several mechandising/programme selling points, a proper shop and shop display area (on the North side), plus lottery ticket/tote sales booths. There are at least 11 serveries at this level plus a fast food outlet behind the East stand (for orientation, the players' area is opposite, beneath the West stand). The South Stand looks the least interesting. There seems to have been plenty of space set aside specifically for disabled viewing all round the pitch at ground level.

First floor
The large banquetting room occupies the whole of the jutting out block off the West Stand. There's a big cocktail bar at this level, with a movable wall so that the banquetting area can be merged into it. Adjoining this is another dining area with room for 75 people. (Neill: i'd get your reception booked up now, otherwise you're going to have to make do with Parsley the Lion Thing in a church hall somewhere).

Still above the West stand there are five posh lounges and the executive boxes. Alongside them is the family enclosure. The Club's single open-plan office occupies almost all the space at the back of the North Stand (i.e. above the shop). The East Stand has a Supporters' Sports Bar at the back (over the fast food outlet). [Imagine the scrum in there while those on the West Bank are tucking into their canapes. However, with all the bars and two beers store rooms on the West side, they may be chucking them all up again soon.] Again, the South Stand is pretty boring, with the back of it just marked 'void' on my plan.

Second floor
This is where the Director's box is, plus the Royal Club Lounge, the Vice's President's Club, the Executive Club plus the Director's Guests' lounge. All the rest of this level (all the way round) is just seating.

Top floor
All the action is again in the West stand. Here we've got the centrally-positioned TV gantry (a bit like Molineaux), flanked by the 'control room' (ie. Cops' TV room) and a media suite. There are positions for broadcast TV cameras in the centre of each stand. All the rest is seating.

There is a place for a video wall above the East stand (and therefore not visible to occupants of that stand - but I gather that this has already been scrapped on grounds of cost). The outside of the stadium cladding will be painted (wait for it) blue and white! However, there will be plenty of that dreary multi-storey car park grey and a splash of red. In conclusion, very impressive.

Only one concern - it surprises me that the West stand seems to have plenty of toilet facilities (including two toilet areas marked for future expansion), while the rest of the ground looks poorly-served in this respect.

Pictures Of The Site As At 12 August 1997

Sorry for the lack of new pictures currently here - this should be resolved soon:

The Model Of The Stadium

Summary Of Stadium Meeting From 8 May 1997

Thanks to Martin Brailli for all these notes:

The stadium has been designed / orientated so noone will get the sun in their eyes during games ( good news for the North Stand !)

The car park space for 2000 has been calculated by a firm of specialist engineers as optimum for this size stadium. It will take no more than 30 minutes to clear the car park when they are full. The car parks will be free.

The club is contributing 6 million to the cost of the A33 relief road to get it built quicker. It won't be ready until December 98 which means the first 6 home games will have some traffic problems ( not sure why only 6 - surely there are at least 2 a month). The payment was a condition of planning permission.

There will be bike and pedestrian routes built into the stadium and bike parking for 300 cycles.
There isn't a railway station included yet but the club are discussing it with the railways and definitely want to have one.
The club will be running supporters coaches from various areas of town to the ground. The specific example quoted, in response to a question, was buses from Ford's Farm.

There will be a Sports Hall built next to the training ground which will be suitable for indoor athletics ( sound slike a big sports hall !). This has just been added to the plans.
There is 80k sq ft of land available for future development.
There is no hotel included ( Nigel commented when I asked him about this that one would be built on the away fans car park - not sure whether this was a serious answer !)

The site is currently 8 m deep in refuse. This won't be removed ( it would cost 45 million to completely clear the site) but will be 'controlled'. A major issue is that Courages draw their water from a chalk acquifer next to the site and were concerned that disturbing the refuse would contaminate the water ( not sure how you'd tell that with Fosters I must admit).

The space under the East and West stands ( the long ones) will be used. Under the West stand will be lots of hospitality suites, a pitch side restaurant, 700 seat restaiurant, a creche, club offices etc.
Under the East Stand will be a members only Sports bar with room initially for 500 to be expenaded to 1500 ( no doubt employing 2 bar staff). The space under the ends will be developed when the finance is available.

There will be TVs in all the concourses plus food outlets, betting shops, merchandising outlets, lots of toilets.
There will be a club superstore.
There is a disabled viewing area right on the half way line at the back of the East Stand. I hope there is a lift to it - didn't get a chance to ask.

There is an exhibition area on the ground floor of the Conference centre which will be sued by local firms to display their products.
The stadium is to a higher specification than any of the other new grounds built. Howe was impressed by Bolton's new ground but said most of the others (he mentioned Boro, Sunderland, Derby and Stoke) are built from a single design. Ours is completely unique and has used state of the art features throughout.
There won't a a big screen - they cost 1.5 - 2 million each. He has met with the MD of Panasonic and suggested they give us 2 screens in return for an Exec box - he's waiting to hear back ! There will be a score board.

A retractable roof would add 15 million to the cost
Build time is 56 weeks starting mid July - look out for wet paint at the start of next season.
He is certain that we would not be allowed to stay at Elm Park beyond the end of next season under any circumstances. Converting Elm Pork to all seater would give a capacity of 8000 and would probably not get planning permission.

There will be 16 bars in the new ground!

The ground will be owned by Reading FC plc. The Non food retail site ( anchored by B&Q but with other stores also expected) has been sold to B&Q. This had to be done to raise the upfront cash for the stadium, therefore there is no ongoing rental income from that area.

There are no plans to float the club on the Stock Market

Admission prices have not been set yet. They will be higher than Elm Park ( surprise) but they will not be much higher.
There will be undersoil heating.
The pitch may mix grass and synthetic fibres - they are looking at a number of options.

The business plan is based on attendances of 12000 growing to 15000 over 3 years. They expect to get more but these are the break evens. Payback on the costs is expected over 5 years ( seems quick to me !). It is assumed we will be in Div 1 for this period.

It will be possible to block book seats so people who have stood together at Elm Park can sit together.
There will be areas of unreserved seating.
The single tier stands can be expanded to double tiers once we reach the Premier and sell out every home game!

There will be no cash payments on the turnstiles and the aim is to have unmanned turnstiles. Payment will be by smart card or tickets purchased from machines outside the ground ( not sure about this one - but I think he said no cash on the door !) The club is currently negotiating for a retail outlet in town.

There will be a viewing platform on site to watch the stadium grow, tours will be run during building. They want people to be able to feel involved in the stadium from the start.
The seats are to the highest green guide specs (ie they will be big enough for the largest fans with loads of leg room).
We have had no money from the Football Trust but are top of the list for the next grant payments.

The floodlights are hung from the roof.

The reserves will probably play on the training pitch. They are keen to attract other sports but need decent gates to make it worth opening the ground, he implied that the rugby club would be welcome but would need to attract more than the players girlfriends to watch.

Our current turnstile income is 1 million and our wage bill is 3 million. He expressed horror at the recent state of other commercial activities but believed that things had improved and would really take off with the new ground.

I hope you got all that ! I was actually extremely impressed by the plans and his comments. This stadium is really something and I can't quite believe that the shambling club we all love to criticise has put something this stunning together.

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