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The history of Madejski Stadium

12 July 2012

Key points since 1998 opening

Madejski Stadium was opened on in August 1998 at a total cost of more than £50m.

The high-class Royal Berkshire Conference Centre and the Millennium Madejski Hotel, as well as the £1m Indoor Training Centre all add up to an impressive facility for Reading Football Club, a highly ambitious club headed by multi-millionaire Chairman John Madejski.

On the pitch, it didn't start as plain sailing and the Club's early days at Madejski Stadium were spent in Division Two. But since 1999, the Royals have enjoyed a dramatic upturn in fortunes - gaining promotion to Division One in 2002 and reaching the Premiership in 2006.

The magnificent playing arena has won high praise from sports fans all around the world, as has been named Europe's Best Mid-Sized Arena by American TV Sports Channel ESPN.

The stadium staged its first international sporting event in September 1999, when England's under 21 side gave minnows Luxembourg a 5-0 thumping in front of a crowd approaching 20,000. Since then, Reading has played host to more under 21 internationals as well as a memorable under 20 fixture against Germany in February, when local boy Nathan Tyson capped a memorable debut with two stunning strikes to give England victory.

Rugby League World Cup action has also taken place at Madejski Stadium, with New Zealand thrashing the Cook Islands in the autumn of 2000, while rugby union is regularly on the menu, with top English Premiership side London Irish playing all their home games here.

A number of concerts have taken place here, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Elton John.

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