Key facts

Address Reading, Berkshire, England
Capacity 14,800 seats
Build Date 1896
Demolished 1998
Record Attendance 33,042


It used to be located in Reading, the UK. From 1896 for more than one hundred years, it was Reading’s home ground. In 1998, the club, finally, moved to the newly built stadium.

The very first sports event took place on the ground in 1896. It was a match between the local team and a former football club A. Roston Bourke’s XI. It had to be stopped due to bad weather conditions. However, the home team was winning with the score of 7–1 when the match had to be interrupted. The match was visited by about 2,500 people.

The record attendance of about 33,000 people was noted in 1927 during the games of Brentford against the home team, which resulted in the victory of Reading with a score of 1–0.

In the 1980s, the venue was under the risk of demolishing due to the possible merger of the home team with another club. However, this did not happen.

The stadium had four stands. Both the North and South stand featured a roof, but the first one had only seats while the other one featured only standing places. The other two stands were terraces with no roofs. Away supports could use the East Stand. Several places were also dedicated for them at the North stand.

After the club’s promotion in 1994, Elm Park had to be rebuilt to an all-seater venue to match the requirements of the Taylor Report. However, it was decided to build a new stadium instead, and the town of Smallmead was chosen for this purpose. In 1998, the last game was played at the stadium. It was a match between the home team and Norwich City.