Reading

Reading

Stadium Information

Stadium

Madejski Stadium

Address

Junction 11, M4, Reading, Berkshire, England, UK, RG2 0FL

Club / stadium contact for disabled supporters

Name

Stacie Browning (Assistant Ticket Office Manager / Disabled Liaison Officer)

Telephone no.

0118 968 1017

E-mail address

Website address

Disabled Supporters Association

Name

There is no DSA at the present time

Telephone

Email

Website address

 

 

Accessibility Information

For UK minimum access standards for new and existing stadia and for good practice guidance please click here.

 

Getting There & Parking

 

The Club offers 122 disabled parking spaces on site at Madejski Stadium. The majority of these spaces have been issued as season parking permits, however there is limited matchday availability in the Orange Disabled car park to pay on the day (£5). Space is limited and is offered on the day of the match on a first-come first-served basis to supporters who are in receipt of a valid Blue parking badge. 10% of spaces will be offered to away supporters. Please note that badges will be checked and the badge holder must be with the vehicle. Drop off facilities are available.
 

 Reading Football Club in conjunction with the STAR supporters trust and Readibus provide a door to door transport system to home and away matches for disabled supporters or supporters who have difficulty walking. Please note places are limited. To book please contact Readibus direct on 0118 931 0000.

An accessible shuttle bus service which can accomodate wheelchair users runs from near the train station to the ground before and after the match. Contact the club or click here for more details.

 

National Rail have published links to the nearest stations to sporting venues including Reading see here for more information.

 

Level Playing Field have not verified the information given and we suggest that you contact the station direct if you have any access requirements.

Getting a Ticket

 

 Disabled supporters can book tickets by phoning Katy Phillips on 0118 968 1006, the Ticket Office on 0844 249 1871 or emailing disability@readingfc.co.uk.

Tickets for disabled supporters are not available online. Please visit www.readingfc.co.uk for information on ticket pricing, stadium maps and Reading FC fixtures.

Reading Football Club recognises that disabled supporters have families who may wish to attend matches together and will try to accommodate such requests. Please contact the Ticket Office for assistance in obtaining tickets as close as possible to the designated accessible areas.

Spectator Viewing areas

 

Madejski Stadium has 83 wheelchair positions for home supporters and 14 for away supporters. If required, a personal assistant can be accommodated in each position. The positions are located as follows: North Stand 25, East Stand 18, West Stand 15, South (away supporters) 14, South (home supporters) 15, plus a wheelchair accessible area within the hospitality areas.

 

Supporters who have difficulty in climbing large numbers of steps are able to request a seat in the most accessible part of the Stadium. Please advise the Ticket Office of this request at the time of booking.

Madejski Stadium has 100 dedicated positions for home ambulant supporters and 6 positions for away ambulant supporters including, if required, their personal assistants. These seats have been identified as providing the easiest access with limited steps and/or additional legroom.

 

NB: Under existing minimum standards for accessible stadia, the club should have 162 wheelchair spaces (138 home and up to 24 away). 75% of these should be elevated positions and the remaining 25% pitchside.

 

LPF's view is that many disabled supporters should be able to access general seating areas and only those with specific needs eg those who require extra legroom, or access via aisle seats or who need step free access etc should be allocated seats in the dedicated areas.

 

Based on the above, the club therefore only meets 60% of the guidance and has a shortfall of 65 wheelchair spaces. They should be working on a plan to rectify this deficit within a reasonable timeframe under the auspices of a full independent Access Audit.

 

Accessible amenities

 

Both home and away fans can use accessible toilets inside the stadium. The club shop is accessible for all fans and does have a low level serving counter. Catering kiosks in the home and away sections do have low level serving counters and so are fully accessible.

Accessible services & information

 

Madejski Stadium has 12 fixed positions in the South West corner for blind and partially sighted supporters and, if required, their personal assistants. Match commentary is provided by the local Hospital Radio Service.

Reading Football Club also offer a portable radio system which carries the local radio commentary and which would allow a supporter to sit anywhere within the stadium bowl. Please contact Katy Phillips on 0118 968 1006 or email: disability@readingfc.co.uk before the game for how to access this service.

Neither commentary systems are currently audio described.

 

Updated October 2013.

Club Additional Information

 

To view the club's official information sheet for disabled supporters, including ticketing and access details, click here.

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Comments

J&J

Match: 22/08/2015

Published: 24/8/2015

 

This was our first visit to the Madejski Stadium as away fans travelling in a wheelchair accessible mini-bus that is part of our Club’s official away travel.

 

Access to the Ground

The stadium is close to the motorway junction and well-signposted albeit round a very large traffic-light controlled roundabout and a 4-lane road (not for the timid driver!).   The stadium it seems is on a modern office park someway away from the town centre.  

 

Our mini-bus along with some of the away coaches parked directly outside the away end.    Dropped kerbs in this area seemed to be limited to one by the vehicle access to the ground gates, right up against the gate.    Due to limited space some of the away coaches parked down the hill leading to the stadium.   So if you are a mobility impaired away fan travelling on your Club’s official coaches, you would need to check it was one that wasn’t going to be parked down the hill, as it is a steep walk back.  I didn’t see any car parking near to the away end, although I understand there is.  

 

Away wheelchair users entered through a metal gate to the right of entrance No 9, which brought us into the away fans refreshment area under the seating terrace.   This seemed quite crowded despite one of the stewards implying we were a small crowd (1,330).

 

 

Facilities in the Ground for Away Wheelchair Fans

 

Viewing Areas

 The viewing area for away wheelchair fans was accessed through a corridor from the pitchside of the refreshment area, just to the left of where we entered.    This was an exceptionally deep viewing platform about 6-8 rows from the front slightly to the right of the goal with excellent views (as  long as  the seats in front were unoccupied or had no one standing.)  It had good cover if it was raining and was not in the sun on the very hot day that we visited.    Unlike on the platform I could see in the adjacent stand for home wheelchair fans, there were no fixed carer seats for away wheelchair users.   My husband was initially told a seat would be brought for him, then he was told there were no more free-standing seats so he could either stand or sit in the row in front (where he would be unable to help me).    Just before the match, after other carers had been given a seat, he was too (a friend later told us she had asked for it for him).  The seats for mobility impaired away fans were on the row in front of us which required negotiating two steps and those that couldn’t were given seats on the row with the wheelchair users  If all the away fans who needed flat access had had carers sat adjacent to them we would not have all fitted in.    I had read somewhere that Reading had space for 14 away wheelchair users.  I wonder if this has been achieved by removing the fixed carer seats?    The depth of the away wheelchair user viewing area is as it is, as it is also the route for many of the able-bodied fans to their seats, so it did get busy at times.   This was not a problem for us but worth noting should this be significant for some.  

 

Refreshments

 As usual we had our own with us, so never planned to purchase any.    In addition to what looked like the usual in-house range of refreshments, we noticed what looked like high-quality vans around the perimeter of the stadium before the match selling burgers,  hog roast and fish n’chips, which we were told were reasonably priced (not sure there are any lowered counters).   These vans were closed at the end of the game.  

 

Accessible Toilet

 There is a large clean, accessible toilet on the right-hand corner as you go through to the wheelchair viewing area.  Left-hand transfer.    I could not get any hot water but did get drenched in cold water (beware as this made the floor wet and possibly slippery.) 

 

Headset Commentaries for Visually Impaired Fans

From the Disabled Fans tab on the Reading FC webpage, I downloaded an impressive looking colour booklet “Guide for Disabled Supporters” which suggested that the Club only provided headset commentaries to home fans with a visual impairment when sat in specific seats.   48 hours before the game I emailed Reading FC on the disability@readingfc.co.uk email provided to check this.   As I received no response, I have concluded that either this is an old email that is no longer used and needs updating, or that I was ignored.   

Attitude of Club Officials

All the officials we met were friendly and helpful, apart from perhaps the confusion in relation to the carer seats that I have detailed.

 

After the Match

 A lot of stewards at the end who seemed to very effectively keep the home and away fans separate as they were leaving the stadium.   It seemed to me that priority was given to getting the away official transport away first without any delay.   Home fans seemed to be walking from the stadium.   

 

Will We go Again?

Yes, overall good ground which we would happily go back to.

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Matt Hackney

Match: Reading v Derby County

Published: 16/3/2014

 

Parking - arrived just before 2:00pm for 3:00pm kick-off and got parked in orange parking area which cost £5.  Staff on duty really helpful and friendly.  Space I got parked in really wide and easy to get into.

 

As one of the other comments above points out, the entrance to the South Stand is fairly steep for someone in a manual wheelchair but that's why I take my "carer" with me ;-)  Inside it was pretty easy to get to the wheelchair spaces and I found the view very good.  It's an elevated position rather than one at the front of the stand and so as well as giving a good view means you feel part of the rest of the crowd (see the picture I've uploaded of the view during the game).  Again the staff on duty were really helpful and professional.

 

I used the accessible toilet just before kick-off and could only see the one.  It was large enough though and pretty well equipped.  My only gripe would be the tap; has it ever given out hot water?  Seriously guys, sort out the tap it's letting the side down.  Maybe fitting the toilet with a Radar key system would also be a way of discouraging those not needing an accessible toilet from using it?

 

Overall though I really enjoyed my visit and the game was better than the 0v0 scoreline would suggest.  I came away with a feeling that Reading, as well as having a really nice stadium, have a very professional and customer friendly set-up.

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Andy Cadle-Mills

Match: Reading v Stoke 18/8/12, Newcastle 29/9/12, Fulham 27/10/12, Sunderland 2/2/13, Southampton 6/4/13, Liverpool 13/4/13

Published: 30/7/2013

 

I'm a Reading fan, so may be biased!

 

Access to the ground is fine, as long as you arrive early enough to get a parking space in the orange area.  Have missed this once, arriving at 2pm for 3pm kick-off, stewards were helpful and managed to get me into a main car park, on the end of a row where there was then enough space at the side of the car to get out into my wheelchair.

 

Food outside is ok, but all high-shelf vans, so you don't get to see what's being cooked and have to believe their own advertising photos or look at what other people have received.

 

Getting in is fine, a bit of a steep slope into the South Stand - tough in a manual wheelchair.

 

Inside - food, drinks are of course pricey.  Views are good from wheelchair spots, as long as people in front and to your side are seated.  Accessible toilet available, but often taken by Joe Public with small-person who can't be bothered to wait for the non accessible loos.

 

As a wheelchair user, you get someone to come in free with you, whether you need them or not.  So that's been great to be able to let friends and family come to watch the Royals for free.

 

After the game, I've had no problem getting in to the hotel to meet friends for a bevvy.

 

Staff are always really helpful.

 

Photo is from Stoke match August 2012, South Stand, before game started.  The netting in view comes down before match starts.

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Keith Graham

Match: Reading v Liverpool

Published: 22/4/2013

 

Well will start with the good points first, Stadium quick to find via the M4, and parking is easily found and for visiting supporters is near to the away end £5 parking charge, no need to book as they keep 10% of disabled spaces for visitors. 

 

Every steward/outside the ground was very helpful and pleasant to talk to, a credit to the club.  Only catering vans outside the ground, no cafes or bars. Visited club shop everyone pleasant including home fans. 

 

Entrence to stadium was easy to find and once inside all was good from a wheelchair users point of view.  Took up a position about 15/20 rows from front so viewing should not be a problem, but then with such a day, Hillsbrough and the death of Thatcher it was never going to be easy for anyone. 

 

Our own fans decieded to congregate in the empty seats left in front of us and it was mayhem with banners/smoke bombs/standing/Bang Bombs, so it was not much fun for us all day. One steward tried his best, but the Police/stewards moved wheelchair supporters along the viewing gallery away from the problem, instead of dealing with the problem. 

 

I am not sure if the staff had been told to treat it with softness, but it didn't help disabled supporters who had become affected by the smoke.  I know the club tried but they did fail to deal with it on the day at the expense to Wheelchair supporters who paid the same £40 price and we got all the hassle. 

 

If you think that you could get a cuppa after the game don't bother trying to get into the Millenium Hotel, even in a wheelchair, a very unfriendly bouncer on the door will not let you in.  All in all a bad visit but I am sure if it had been another club on another day it may have been dealt better.

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Becky Harvey

Match: Plymouth Argyle

Published: 4/3/2011

 

Extremely helpful staff on the day and before hand.

 

I needed to contact the club in advance about one or 2 matters everything was dealt with promptly and they moved hell and high water to ensure my carer could sit next to me. Disabled fans should note that carers will not be seated next them, you need to speak to club in advance if it is essential your carer sits next to you. It has to be the best away experience I have ever had (apart from the result).

 

The only down side being charged £8 to park near the ground despite having a blue badge, being on higher rate care and mobilty and in a wheelchair.


Well done Reading!

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