Madejski Stadium, Behind East Stand

FIRST STRUCTURED DIALOGUE MEETING

We have just had the first of our ‘higher level’ Structured Dialogue meetings with the Club and here is our report back to members and supporters. These meetings will happen on an approximately six monthly basis. If you would like STAR to raise any major issues in these meetings please get in touch with STAR.

Please see notes from the meeting:

Comments (3)

Has the club given any consideration to making an area of the ground safe standing?

Can the evening KO be brought forward to 7:45pm?

Swindon have over the past few seasons introduced a card at the latter part of the season. Where supporters are able to watch 6 games for the price of 4. The games to be attended can be selected as and when. Have the club considered anything similar?

Q. Has the club given any consideration to making an area of the ground safe standing?

Yes, the club are consistently looking at ways of improving the atmosphere as seen by the backing of Club 1871. When the Madstad was designed in the mid-1990s the idea of ‘safe standing’ was completely off the table so there was no provision for easily adapting parts of the stadium to accommodate this. In theory we believe it can be done but it requires a) changes what safety authorities will allow b) working out which area of the stadium can best be adapted c) financing that and considering the impact it will have on adjacent seated areas.

A. ‘Safe standing’ from STAR’s perspective is nothing like pre 1990s terracing and may offer little difference to the current practice of ‘standing in seated areas’ which seems to be increasingly unchallenged.

Q. Can the evening KO be brought forward to 7:45pm?

A. This has been asked several times before. The club view is that 8pm helps more people than it hinders in terms of getting to the game on time. Reading / M4 apparently is subject to two waves of heavy traffic in the evening and the 7.45pm start would catch more people in the second. We know we have lost supporters from the Isle of Wight because of later midweek KOs.

Q. Swindon have over the past few seasons introduced a card at the latter part of the season. Where supporters are able to watch 6 games for the price of 4. The games to be attended can be selected as and when. Have the club considered anything similar?

A. We’ll ask the club about this specific mechanic. The club has tried many types of offer from half season tickets, bring a mate, packages of games to straight price promotions (eg Burton £5). There’s also a need to preserve the value of the season ticket which is very much the bedrock of turnstile income.

Reading have played 18 home league games and 19 away games this season. 11 of those away games had higher attendances than the highest home league attendance, and one away game had a lower attendance than their lowest league attendance. I think this is related to Reading’s style of play. I have not been to evening games (apart from the Sheffield United game) this season, because I do not feel safe walking (I live a mile away) with the much worse, new street lights. We used to have football buses, but both the Woodley and Shinfield Park routes were re-routed away from Whitley Wood.
London Irish are also having worse home attendances than in the past.
The reduced space for away fans in the South stand has also had a bad effect on attendances for games against well-supported away teams.
Safe standing discriminates against short people.
Despite the announcements on the screen and in the programme, the stewards take no action against either continued standing or offensive language. They are not doing their job, and should be disciplined.

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