Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Dundee FC’s Dens Park: A Historic Stadium with a Unique Charm

Dundee FC, one of the two football clubs in Dundee, Scotland, plays its home games at Dens Park. Built in 1899, Dens Park replaced the club’s previous stadium, Carolina Port. This article will explore the rich history and unique features of Dens Park, as well as provide useful information for fans and visitors.

Dens Park: A Venue with a Rich Legacy

Dens Park has witnessed several significant football events throughout its history. Despite being overshadowed by the famous Hampden Park, Dens Park has hosted two Scottish League Cup finals and even served as the venue for a full Scottish International game. Additionally, Dens Park hosted the Scottish Cup final in 2007, a match typically held at St. Johnstone’s McDiarmid Park.

One intriguing fact about Dens Park is that it is not owned by the club itself but rather by John Bennett, a businessman who sits on the board of Dundee United, the club’s fierce rivals.

The Stadium’s Impressive Stats

Dens Park boasts an impressive set of statistics that reflect its significance in Scottish football. Here are some key figures:

  • Year Opened: 1899
  • Capacity: 11,775
  • Average Attendance: 6,407
  • Record Attendance: 43,024 (Dundee vs. Rangers in 1953)
  • Pitch Size: 100 x 64 yards

Exploring Dens Park: Seating Plan and Stand Details

Spectators can expect a unique experience when watching a match at Dens Park. The main stand, known as the North Stand, houses the dugouts and changing rooms. Interestingly, this stand bends around the side of the pitch at an angle, creating a distinctive architectural feature. The Bob Shankly Stand, located behind the Eastern goal, was rebuilt when Dundee gained promotion to the Scottish Premier League (SPL). The away supporters are seated in this stand, while the noisiest Dundee fans occupy The Bobby Cox Stand. Both stands were built in a record-breaking 82 days. The South Stand, though somewhat dilapidated, offers covered seating and an uncovered terrace section.

Dundee Ticket Prices and How to Purchase

Ticket prices for Dundee FC matches are straightforward and categorized into two groups: Category A and Category B. Category A includes games against Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee United, Rangers, and Hearts, while all other matches fall under Category B. Ticket prices remain the same regardless of the desired seating location. Here is a breakdown of the prices:

  • Adults: Category A – £26.00, Category B – £24.00
  • Concessions: Category A – £19.00, Category B – £16.00
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Tickets can be purchased via phone, the club’s official website (with a £2.00 surcharge), or in person at the ticket office. Alternatively, tickets are often available for purchase on match day.

Getting to Dens Park: Convenient Transport Options

Dens Park is situated in Dundee, a charming city located on the banks of the River Tay, to the east of Perth. Here are several convenient transportation options to reach the stadium:

  • Train: From King’s Cross, a direct or Edinburgh-transferring train journey will take approximately six hours. From the city, it’s a 30-minute walk to Dens Park.
  • Bus: The 1A National Express bus operates from the city center to the stadium.
  • Car: Travelling from England, take the M6 to the A74(M), then the M74 to the A9. Proceed onto the M90, which becomes the A90, and follow the signposts to the ground.
  • Air: Dundee Airport, located just five minutes away by car, is the closest airport to the city.
  • Taxi: A taxi ride from Dundee Train Station to Dens Park takes around ten minutes and costs approximately £6.

Parking Near Dens Park: On-Street Options

While there is no designated car park for supporters, there are ample on-street parking options near the stadium. Visitors should be mindful of any parking restrictions in the area.

Exploring Dundee: Nearby Hotels and Pubs

Due to its proximity to the renowned St. Andrews golf course, Dundee offers a variety of hotels to accommodate visitors. Here are some recommended options for your stay.

For those looking to experience the local pub scene, Dundee offers a mix of traditional and contemporary establishments, catering to diverse tastes and preferences.

Facilities at Dens Park: A Blend of History and Modernity

Dens Park provides a range of facilities for spectators. While The Bob Shankly and Bobby Cox Stands were recently rebuilt, ensuring satisfactory amenities, The North Stand also offers expected facilities. However, The South Stand is in need of refurbishment.

For visitors seeking refreshments, Dens Park provides a variety of options at affordable prices:

  • Programme: £3
  • Pie: £2
  • Cup of tea: £2.20

Hospitality and Private Hire Opportunities

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Dens Park offers several hospitality packages, ensuring a memorable experience for fans. The Legends Lounge provides flexibility, with annual or match-by-match options, including premium seating, a 3-course meal, complimentary bar access, and the chance to meet players post-match. The mascot package offers a unique opportunity for families, as the mascot gets a full replica kit and leads the team onto the pitch.

Moreover, the stadium’s lounges are also available for private hire, accommodating various events such as conferences, christenings, exhibitions, funerals, and weddings.

Stadium Tours and Museum Availability

At present, Dens Park does not offer stadium tours or have a museum. However, visitors can explore the surrounding area, which provides a glimpse into the stadium’s history.

Discover Dundee: A City with Football Heritage

Dundee FC, known as the Dark Blues, was formed in 1893 when two local teams merged to apply for Scottish Football League membership. Dundee’s greatest football achievements came in the early 1960s, under the management of Bob Shankly, winning the Scottish Football League title in 1962 and reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup the following year.

Dens Park’s Evolution: From Greyhound Track to Modern Stadium

Dens Park holds a distinctive position in Scottish football. In addition to shared road access with its rival Dundee United, the stadium has undergone significant changes over the years. Notably, when Dundee FC secured promotion to the Scottish Premier League in 1999, two new stands were built in a remarkable 82-day timeframe to meet league requirements. Dens Park also hosted UEFA Under-19 European Championship Group 4 games in 2007.

Future Developments: Exciting Prospects for Dens Park

Although plans to construct a new stadium shared by both Dundee clubs were shelved in 2002, talks of a potential move to a new stadium resurfaced in 2017. While progress is slow, Dundee FC is actively exploring options for the future.

FAQs

Q: How can I purchase tickets for Dundee FC matches?
A: Tickets can be purchased over the phone, through the club’s official website, or in person at the ticket office. Additionally, tickets are often available for purchase on match days.

Q: What are the ticket prices for Dundee FC matches?
A: Ticket prices are divided into two categories: Category A and Category B. Category A tickets for matches against Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee United, Rangers, and Hearts are priced at £26.00 for adults and £19.00 for concessions. Category B tickets for all other games are priced at £24.00 for adults and £16.00 for concessions.

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Q: How can I get to Dens Park?
A: Dens Park is conveniently accessible by various means of transport. Visitors can reach the stadium by train, bus, car, air, or taxi, depending on their preference and location.

Q: Is there parking available near Dens Park?
A: While there is no dedicated car park for supporters, on-street parking options are available near the stadium. Visitors should be mindful of parking restrictions in the area.

Q: Are there stadium tours or a museum at Dens Park?
A: Currently, Dens Park does not offer stadium tours or have a museum. However, visitors can still explore the surrounding area, which provides insight into the stadium’s history.

Q: What facilities and amenities are available at Dens Park?
A: Dens Park offers a range of facilities, including refurbished stands with modern amenities. Refreshments such as programs, pies, and cups of tea are available at affordable prices.

Q: What hospitality options are available at Dens Park?
A: Dens Park provides various hospitality packages, including the Legends Lounge, mascot packages, and the exclusive 169 Club experience. These packages offer premium seating, meals, complimentary bars, and unique opportunities to meet players and lead the team onto the pitch.

Q: Can the lounges at Dens Park be hired for private events?
A: Yes, the lounges at Dens Park are available for private hire. Whether it’s a conference, christening, exhibition, funeral, or wedding, Dens Park can provide a memorable venue for your special occasion.

Q: Are there any future developments planned for Dens Park?
A: Discussions about a potential move to a new stadium began in 2017. While it is still in the early stages, Dundee FC is actively considering future developments and exploring options for the stadium’s improvement.

Conclusion

Dens Park, the home of Dundee FC, is a historic stadium with a unique charm. With its rich legacy and distinctive features, Dens Park offers an exciting football experience for fans and visitors alike. From affordable ticket prices to accessible transport options, Dens Park strives to provide an enjoyable and memorable experience for all who attend matches. Whether exploring the surrounding city or indulging in the local pub scene, visitors will discover the rich heritage of Dundee through its football culture.