The Den: Millwall

Zampa Road, London, England, SE16 3LN
Andrew H / Flickr.com

Millwall Football Club have long been associated with The Den, though the less observant football fan might not realise that the one they play their games in now is different from the one they played at for 83 years. That is, perhaps, because the new ground is also called The Den, though for a time it was known as The New Den as well as Senegal Fields and The New London Stadium.

At one point it seemed as though Millwall would never find a permanent home. Between 1885, when the club was formed, and 1910, when they moved into the original Den, the club played at no less than four different grounds. Their first home was little more than waste ground, whilst their second was an area of land behind The Lord Nelson Pub, which became known as The Lord Nelson Ground. The Athletics Ground was up next and was the first purpose-built stadium that they’d played in. They had to move out of that when the Millwall Dock Company wanted to use the space as a timber yard.

Stats

The Den Stats
Year Opened1993
Capacity20,146
Average Attendance10,581
Record Attendance20,093 (Millwall v Arsenal (1994))
Pitch Size106 x 68 (7208)
Former NameThe New Den, Senegal Fields, The New London Stadium
OwnerMillwall Football Club
Clubs HostedMillwall FC, Millwall Lionesses LFC
First FixtureMillwall v Sporting Portugal (04/08/1993)
Millwall Stats
Year Founded1885
NicknameThe Lions (Formerly known as The Dockers)
Club MascotZampa the Lion
RivalsWest Ham United, Charlton Athletic
Previous StadiumsGlengall Road, Lord Nelson Ground, The Athletic Grounds, North Greenwich, Cold Blow Lane, The Den
KitBlue & White (Home) / White with Blue Stripe (Away) / Yellow with White Stripe (Third)
Training GroundMillwall FC Training Ground
Shirt SponsorEuroferries Express
Team OwnerMillwall Holdings plc
Record GoalscorerNeil Harris (138)
Record AppearancesBarry Kitchener (596)

The Den Photos

The Den Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Most grounds built from the late ‘80s onwards tend to follow the ‘Bowl Style’ design, but this was eschewed at Millwall in favour of the more traditional ‘English Style’ of having four distinct stands on each edge of the pitch. Each stand has it’s own unique personality, so here’s a little bit of information about each:

  • The North Stand - This is a two-tiered stand with a capacity of 4,000. Ordinarily it is used solely for away supporters, though in league games they rarely fill more than one section of it.
  • The Dockers Stand - This two-tiered stand is named in honour of the club’s working-class docker fanbase. The tiers are separated by a row of executive boxes, ironically.
  • The Cold Blow Lane Stand - This is the home of Millwall’s noisiest supporters and is notable by the yellow seat that spell out ‘The Den’. It also has two tiers.
  • The Barry Kitchener Stand - Named in honour of the club’s record appearance holder, this is the main stand in the ground and houses the press box, executive areas and the dugouts. It also has two tiers and is home to the club’s family section.

Millwall Ticket Prices

Ticket prices for Millwall games are blessedly easy to understand. They categorise their matches into either Category A or Category B, with a price difference of about £3 between each. They then charge a different amount of money depending on where in the ground you’d like to sit, with seats in the Upper section of The Barry Kitchener Stand costing the most and a place in the Zampa’s Family Club section costing the least. Finally the amount you’ll pay once you know the match category and the area you’re going to sit is dictated by your age.

The club also offers cheaper tickets for those who are Members of the official supporters group, so do bear that in mind if you’re likely to attend matches regularly. Here are the cheapest and most expensive tickets for adults and concessions in each category, presuming you are not a Member:

  • Category A: £25 - £30 / £17 - £20
  • Category B: £22 - £27 / £14 - £17

How To Get Millwall Tickets

Most club’s nowadays have excellent websites from which you can buy tickets and Millwall is no exception. If you’d rather speak to a real person then you can always call the ticket office or even drop in in person, with the office being open form 9.30am until 5pm Monday to Friday or from 10am on Saturdays when there’s a home game on.

Getting To The Den

Swap Start/End

The Den is located in South East London, so you have all of the travel options available to you that heading to the nation’s capital offers everyone. Here are some of the more typical routes you’ll probably want to look at:

Train - London is brilliantly easy to get around by train thanks to the excellent Underground service and the national rail system that runs throughout the city. South Bermondsey Railway Station is only five minutes walk from the ground, whilst New Cross and New Cross Gate stations are both around fifteen minutes walk away. On the Underground you can get the East London Line to Surrey Quays or New Cross Gate which are both fifteen minutes away, or you can head to Canada Water on the Jubilee Line and your journey will increase to just twenty minutes.

Bus - The bus service in London is second only to the Underground, so there are options aplenty. Numbers 21, 53, 172, 1, 381, 47, 188 and 225 all call within a short walking distance of The Den.

Car - Form the North you’ll want to head to London and get on the A1/M1 then the A2 until you see signs for the ground. From the South take the A20 and A21 towards London, following signs for Surrey Quays when you get to New Cross. From the East take the A2 to New Cross then follow the instructions from the South, whilst if you’re coming from the West you’ll want the M4 to the M3 then the A205 South Circular. Follow signs to Clapham on the A3 then to New Cross.

By Air - London is awash with airports, from the behemoth of Heathrow through to the slightly more private London City Airport. The former is around fourteen miles from the ground, whilst the latter is by far the closest at just five miles.

Taxi - As the main train station in London for internal arrivals is probably Euston, we’ll give you taxi information from there. A journey to The Den will take about half an hour and cost in the region of £30. Traffic in London can be…tricky, though, so expect to pay a lot more if you get caught up in it.

Parking Near The Den

There is no official parking at the ground and there are often significantly troublesome on-street parking restrictions in the local area. There might be one of two unofficial parking areas around the place but to be careful and be aware that you’ll be parking at your own risk.

Useful Resources

The Den Hotels

London has a huge amount of hotels throughout the city, so your options are numerous. Here are some of our favourites:

Peckham Lodge - £55+

110 Peckham Road, London, SE15 5EU
About one and a half miles from The Den is this Victorian hotel with 218 rooms. They offer self-parking, free Wi-Fi and the hotel has a garden, too. More details.

The New Dome Hotel - £75+

51-53 Camberwell Church Street, London, SE5 8TR
Just under two miles from the ground is this hotel that offers en-suite bathrooms, televisions in the rooms and access to an Indian restaurant that is in the building. More details.

DoubleTree by Hilton London - Docklands Riverside - £105+

265 Rotherhithe Street, London, SE16 5HW
Hilton hotels have long been synonymous with quality and the Docklands Riverside branch of the famous chain is no exception. There’s a restaurant, a free shuttle to the ferry terminal and a 24-hour fitness centre. There’s also a terrace with amazing views over the city. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near The Den

In London you’re never too far away from an amazing pub or two. We’ve tried to narrow it down to ones that are reasonably close to The Den, though that essentially means London Bridge if you want to head to somewhere fun, so here are some of our suggestions:

Cat and Canary

25-28 Fishermans Walk, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4DH (0207 519 0070)
Located in Canary Wharf is this traditional English style pub. It’s got a good selection of lagers and ales and serves typical pub grub. They’ve also got TVs to show live sports, so you’re onto a winner.

Admiral Hardy

7 College Approach, Greenwich, London, SE10 9HY (0208 858 6452)
The Admiral Hardy is to be found in nearby picturesque Greenwich and promises tasty food, a nice drinks selection and big screen TVs showing all sorts of sports.

Belushi’s

189 Greenwich High Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 8JA (0208 858 3591)
This sports bar is located right next to a Dockland Light Railway station so it offers easy access to London’s transport system. There are large flatscreen TVs, good food and a fine selection of drinks on offer as well as an outdoor terrace.

Facilities

The Den is starting to show its age a little bit nowadays, but then it was built over twenty years ago so it seems a little churlish to complain about that. It’s reasonably clean and pleasant throughout and the views are pretty good from virtually everywhere. There are plenty of kiosks to buy food and drinks as well as places to purchase a match programme or place a bet before the action gets underway.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.40
  • Cup of tea: 2.00

Hospitality

The Cold Blow Lane end of The Den - By joshjdss (Millwall Lionesses Vs Arsenal Ladies) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are a host of excellent hospitality options at The Den, from individual match day experiences through to season-long executive memberships. Here’s some details on some of the choices available to you:

  • The Executive Lounge - Here you’ll get access to The Executive Lounge, executive seating and half-time refreshments as well as car parking facilities and access to a cash bar.
  • The Billy Neil Sponsor’s Lounge - Enjoy a three-course meal with wine before the game as well as a welcome drink upon arrival. Your day will be hosted by Jimmy Carter and you’ll get half-time and full-time refreshments. On top of that you’ll have access to a cash bar and you’ll be able to watch the Man Of The Match presentation.
  • The Chairman’s Club - As well as exclusive access to the Chairman’s Room you’ll also get a three-course pre-match meal with wine, a welcome drink upon arrival and complimentary drinks. There will be refreshments at half-time and full-time as well as seating in the Director’s Box and an appearance from a club legend.

Private Hire

The Den is an excellent location in South East London for all of your conferencing needs. The versatility of the club’s lounges and executive boxes means that you can host a range of events at the home of Millwall FC, such as training sessions, conferences with breakout rooms, team-building sessions and breakfast meetings. The suites are also available for private events and can hold anywhere from 2 to 500 guests. You can even get married at The Den if you so wish!

Stadium Tours & Museum

Millwall do run occasional tours of The Den, though they’re to regular so your best bet is to check in with the club to see when they’re on. If you do manage to catch one then expect to take in some proper behind-the-scenes sights. You’ll see the dressing rooms, the press area, the Director’s Box, the players’ tunnel and the dugouts. If you time your visit well you’ll also be able to go on a Legends tour that, as the name suggests, is hosted by a former club legend.

Prices for the normal tour come out at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions, whilst season ticket holders will pay £10 or £5 respectively. The Legends tour, meanwhile, is charged at £22 for adults and £12 for concessions. Again there’s a slight discount for season ticket holders, with adults charged £20 and concessions £10.

About Millwall

Millwall Rovers in 1887 - By NoOneLikesUs (Millwall History Museum) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Millwall are an exceptionally interesting team in the Football League, given that they’ve kept the name of the area they were formed in despite not having played in that area since 1910. The club was founded in 1885 as Millwall Rovers and spent the first 25 years of its existence moving from place to place around the Isle of Dogs. The club then settled at The Den in New Cross but never lost sight of its origins as a club from the working class Docklands of the city.

The club has reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup on four different occasions, in 1900, 1903, 1937 and 2013. That does not include the time they reached the final in 2004, eventually losing 3-0 to Manchester United. The fact that they reached the final meant that they qualified for a European competition for the first time in the club’s history, playing in the UEFA Cup in the 2004-2005 season. Despite their success in the lower leagues over the years, the club is probably best known to many because of the hooliganism of its fans. Their rivalry with West Ham, for example, has been portrayed on screen in films such as Green Street.

The Den History

Having been the nomads of the Isle Of Dogs for 25 years the club made the choice to settle in The Den in 1910, lasting 83 years before moving to a new ground. Just to confuse supporters of both their own club and other clubs Millwall decided to call their new stadium The Den, too. It was actually the first new all-seater ground to be completed in the wake of the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster and was designed with crowd management at the forefront of its structuring.

When the initial plans for the new stadium were announced it was hoped that it would have a capacity of about 30,000. Millwall couldn’t afford to meet the costs necessary for that capacity, however, so they settled for just over 20,000 instead. The new ground was just a quarter of a mile away from the old one and was officially opened by John Smith MP, the leader of the Labour Party at the time.

Future Developments

Andrew H / Flickr.com

Updates to the stadium itself are unlikely in the near future, though the club are currently in the midst of a negotiation with Lewisham Council over the are around the ground that it likely to be used by developers to build things like new homes, a hotel and a leisure centre.

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