Away Days - Reading

First Impressions -- Around the ground -- Facilities -- The Stand -- Overall -- Pictures

Fixture: Reading V Preston North End
Coca Cola Championship
Madjeski Stadium
Saturday 25th February 2006
Kick off:
Final Result:
2-1 Davidson

First Impressions

After arriving at the ground my first thoughts about the ground were 'this is a bit bland'. I was largely unimpressed with the ground from the outside. When the coach arrived at the ground it had to drive right round it so it could park outside the away stand and obviously make it easier to drive off after the match.

Although I thought it was bland, it was smart, tidy and obviously well kept but they're the only positive comments I could say.

Around the ground

As said above, the coach drove round the ground to park up next to the away end. Despite this and because we arrived very early, we opted to have a walk round to get a good look at the place and to take some photos.

The first 'port of call' was the East Stand. This had a decent frontage to it that took away some blandness and was quite smart. I expected this type of frontage to be on the main stand.

We then walked round to the North Stand and unfortunately this was also another bland affair. Walking on we came to the corner of the North Stand and West Stand were the club shop and main entrance were situated. I found it quite odd that the main entrance was on a corner and not centralised in the West Stand - in my opinion it would have looked much better.

Carrying on around the stadium, we came across the hotel. I thought this looked very out of place and would've been better placed if it had been built seperately away from the ground.

The ground really did lack a good feature or frontage. From the outside it was hard to tell what exactly was the main stand.

Inside the ground there was less 'oddness' about it. The West Stand to our left looked very smart and quite impressive and broke up the 'bowl' look very well. Unfortunately the other stands looked very familiar and during the game I had a feeling that I had 'been here before', referring the identikit 'bowl' grounds. Apart from the West Stand and obviously the colour of the seats, I felt like I was at Pride Park.


The concourse, which was at ground level, seemed very small and cramped. This made it a nightmare to get food and drinks at half-time and 15/20 minutes before kick off. There was literally no room to swing a cat, and it really could've done with being much wider.

Having said that though, the toilets were of an excellent standard as expected and the queuing system for the catering bar was ok, but could be improved.

Unfortunately the beer on offer was Fosters, which is not my preferred choice of beer, and what made it worse is that it was clearly watered down. A total rip-off for £2.80 a pint.

The Stand

The view and legroom in the stand were fantastic. Being a new ground, it made a refreshing change being close to the pitch instead of being seperated by a wide track/path.

What let the stand down was the narrow and small concourse, as i've said above.

Also worth noting was the viewing platform for disabled fans. Its not very often that a club provides one for visiting supporters.


I was pleased to get another ground under my belt. It was an enjoyable away trip, well everything apart from the result, but I went away thinking that this ground could've been so much better. It was largely very bland and would fit well into the category of 'identikit bowl'. One other thing that ruined it was the very corporate feel of the ground.


Appearance: 6/10
Facilities: 7/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Fans: 8/10
Stand: 7/10

Overall: 7/10