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"Don't worry about safety"

has rated The Den 3.5 out of 5.

ronaldinhollew's review of The Den

I visited the Den for Millwall's final home game of the season as a Swansea fan.

Everybody has heard the horror stories about Millwall's fans and their... enthusiasm for their club. So I decided to take what seemed the safest route and went by official club coach. The journey in by police escort was peaceful and well organised.

The ground comprises of four two-tier stands of the same style, with no corners and one corner filled with a giant screen.

The concourse was great and the views from the away stand are second to none.

Away fans are housed in the upper tier of a stand behind one of the goals, with no fans in the lower tier. This gives fans a brilliant view of the pitch and keeps them out of the way of home fans.

The home end was a sell-out with Swansea, already secure in the play-offs, taking just over 1000. I expected more atmosphere from the home fans who were out-sung by the visiting fans for most of the match. I had heard so much about the noise at the Den, but I think the occasion got to the fans, and there was a tense nature around the home stands.

Swansea won 2-0 to end Millwall's play-off hopes, and despite repeated pleas by the announcer to stay off the pitch, the final whistle was greeted with a small pitch-invasion by around 200 teenagers. The action wasn't supported by the majority of Millwall fans, leaving the idiots on the field looking stupid and left me feeling Millwall wasn't the same club you hear about in pub tales.

Beware, away fans are kept in the Den for 20 minutes after the final whistle so as to let the surrounding area empty.

On the way out the police were yet again brilliant.

Don't worry about safety, the police know exactly how to handle a football match at the Den, and as long as you don't go looking for trouble, you'll be absolutely fine.

Location

From what I saw from the bus, the area around Millwall isn't the nicest. A lot of run-down shops and pubs. It was a treck to find the stadium, and the obligatory police escort slowed us down.

There's a train station arround the corner from the ground, but again, you're given a police escort to and from the ground.

Parking places seemed to be in short supply, and I wouldn't advise on driving there if you're an away fan. Just take the train or club bus and get the extra protection to be safe.

View

From the away end, I can't fault it.

Unreserved seating, so you're free to sit wherever you want. As away fans are on the upper tier the view of the playing surface is brilliant. You feel as though you're on top of the players and this is a bonus as most grounds give away fans the worst seats in the house.

As comfortable as Championship seats get.

Facilities

Toilets were fine, although they shut some of them at the final whistle for some unknown reason.

Food & Drink

Two weeks prior to the Den I had an incredible meat and potato pie at Burnley's Turf Moor. I had one at Millwall and it was inedible.

Also the beer served is Carlsberg from a plastic bottle. Carlsberg tastes like carbonated bog water at the best of times, but from a plastic bottle it's very tough to stomach.

Queues shorter than at most grounds.

Prices the usual for a football game.

Police & Stewards

I cannot rate the police highly enough.

The police escort was slow, but it was brilliantly organised and an utter necessity. Police stand outside pubs on the way to the ground to prevent trouble as buses near the stadium. In the stadium the police presence was large and they controlled the event well without making themselves too obvious.

At the final whistle there was a small pitch invasion and the police cleared the pitch in less than 5 minutes without resorting to violence.

The police escort on the way out was well managed and not once throughout the entire day did I feel in any kind of danger.

Atmosphere

When I went it was good, but not great. The home fans were tense and didn't really find their voices.

The drive in was slightly intimidating, as was some of the pre-match atmosphere, but on the whole this wasn't a freightening experience.

However I'm betting that home support can be much louder.

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Ratings for The Den

ApsectRating
LocationAspect 1 rating: 2.5 stars
ViewAspect 2 rating: 5.0 stars
FacilitiesAspect 3 rating: 4.0 stars
Food & DrinkAspect 4 rating: 1.5 stars
Police & StewardsAspect 5 rating: 5.0 stars
AtmosphereAspect 6 rating: 4.0 stars
OverallOverall rating: 5.0 stars

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