NFL willing to relax noise rules to create stadium atmosphere


Tucked away in last week’s report about blackout rules relaxing and the league trying to improve the in-stadium experience, there was a passing mention that could have a huge impact in some cities.

The league has apparently “liberalized” restraints on crowd noise, with stadiums able to incite their fans into more noise on third downs with P.A. announcements and video displays.

As Nick Eaton of points out, that could create an even rowdier atmosphere at Seahawks games.

Now known as CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks’ home has long been regarded as one of the loudest in the league. Whether it’s the architecture or the hearty nature of fans used to watching it rain being unleashed, the place reverberates during the regular season, and can be deafening in the playoffs.

Noise isn’t unique to Seattle. The reality is, the loudest stadiums are almost always the ones in which good teams play. The Edwards Jones Dome could pass for a library when the Rams stink, as they have in recent years. When they were good, it might have been the noisiest home field in the NFL.

The new wave of retractable-roof or domed stadiums create the opportunity for a clatter you can’t match in most open-air venues (with a few exceptions, Chicago and Denver jump to mind), and those teams should take full advantage. It can only help your defense, and creates the kind of environment players want to play in.

By extension, that’s the kind of environment fans want to get up off the couch and be a part of. Being in a stadium full of leather-lunged brethren, whipped into a frenzy is the kind of atmosphere you can’t match in your living room, no matter how loud you make the television.

16 responses to “NFL willing to relax noise rules to create stadium atmosphere

  1. Teams can always do what Bill Polian did in the RCA Dome and pipe crowd noise over the pa system to make it difficult for the opposition to hear. He can deny it all he wants by the speakers were hanging right outside the press box in the old RCA Dome, easy for writers to hear it and some did call him on it.

  2. I feel like you had to go out of your way not to mention the saints and our dome field advantage.

  3. Does this mean the Seahawks can continue to pump fake noise into the stadium?

  4. joetoronto, do you just hate the seahawks, or are you just a negative person?

    Seattle has the loudest stadium bar none. saints are neck and neck with the hawks. kc is up there and that’s it.

    Dallas has the least noisy fans.

  5. The Hawks might not always have the best teams but anyone who has been to a game there will tell you it’s like standing on a runway while a jet takes off in front of you

  6. Another desperate attempt for the NFL to avoid the truth of the matter.

    Fans aren’t staying away because of the lack of noise. They are staying away because of the cost.

    NFL, stop trying to trick the laws of economics and face reality. Lower the prices and they will come!

  7. Exactly JoeToronto. I’m all for video boards and such, but if Seattle could stop pumping in fake crowd noise that would be great. And if they could stop using the Texas A&M 12th man, that would be great too. Their devotion to a college gimmick they stole is stupid.

  8. I love the “pumping crowd noise” argument at centurylink/qwest field! If you have been there you know better. ask the local businesses nearby if they think beastquake was pa noise!

  9. I remember a few years back when the crowd was flagged for making too much noise when the opposing quarterback acted like his team was unable to hear!

  10. At my local indoor football team’s game a few years back fans were flagged for booing a referee’s call (unsportsmanlike conduct, on the fans, 15 yard penalty, 3rd down!)

  11. Seahawks fans are not noisy. They are just emotional because their baseball team has never won a world series nor has the hawks ever won a Super Bowl. Add to the fact that the sonics are no more, you have a very sad sports town.

  12. What else do they have to yell about?
    They cheer when the sun comes out.
    It’s Seattle for cyin’ out loud.

  13. joetoronto says:
    Jul 4, 2012 10:49 AM
    Does this mean the Seahawks can continue to pump fake noise into the stadium?

    Not this tired old diatribe again…There is absolutely no evidence to support this statement. People have been trotting this BS out since the days of the King Dome it’s been investigated several times and proven completely false. Century Link field is not your standard football stadium it was designed for both soccer and football and is quite frankly acoustic perfection. No speakers needed physics takes care of it. Perhaps you have forgotten the seismic activity recorded in the playoff game against the saints, but I will guarantee you no one in Seattle has. You don’t create an earthshaking event with speakers. Those of you who keep dragging out this unfounded argument are simply jealous, wishing your owners were smart enough to build a stadium like the C-Link.

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