The Den

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Bermondsey, London, England



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The Den (previously called The New Den) is a football stadium and the home of Millwall Football Club. It is situated in South Bermondsey, South East London, almost directly adjacent to the railway line between London Bridge and New Cross Gate, and the SELCHP incinerator. It is under a quarter of a mile away from The Old Den. Built on a previous site of housing, a church and the Senegal Fields playing fields, it has an all-seated capacity of 20,146, with the average attendance for the 2010-11 season being 12,438. The Den is the sixth ground that Millwall have occupied since their formation as a football club in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in 1885.
The Den was the first new all seater stadium to be completed after the Taylor Report on the Hillsborough disaster. It was designed with effective crowd management in mind (given Millwall's crowd problems at The Old Den), with the escape routes being short and direct. After chairman Reg Burr decided that it would not be viable to redevelop The Den as an all-seater stadium, he announced during 1990 that Millwall would be relocating to a new stadium in the Senegal Fields area. Originally, it was planned to have a seating capacity of between 25,000 to 30,000. Millwall however, could not meet the additional cost.

View from the West lower stand against Charlton Athletic during a 4-0 win in the 09-10 season.
Millwall played their final game on 8 May 1993 at The Old Den after 83 years, and moved to the new 20,000 all-seater stadium a quarter of a mile away from Cold Blow Lane. The £16 million Den was opened by John Smith MP (leader of the Labour Party and Opposition at the time) on 4 August 1993 prior to a prestigious friendly against Sporting Lisbon which Sporting won by 2-1. The Den was the first new football stadium constructed for a professional team in London since 1937.

Millwall have experienced mixed fortunes since relocating to The Den. Their first season at the stadium (1993-94) saw them finish third in Division One—their highest finish since relegation from the top flight four years earlier. However, their dreams of Premier League football were ended by a defeat in the playoffs and they were relegated to Division Two in 1996, not winning promotion from that level until 2001. They came close to reaching the Premier League again in 2002, finishing fourth but once again losing in the playoffs. The Lions reached the FA Cup final for the first time in 2004, and despite a 3-0 defeat by Manchester United they qualified for a European competition for the very first time (although their UEFA Cup campaign was short lived). Relegation from the newly named Football League Championship (second highest division in England) followed in 2006. They were promoted back to the N-Power Championship, via a 1-0 win against Swindon Town at Wembley in 2010.
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