Football teams adapt again to noisy crowds

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

I’ve written in the past about noise in stadiums and arenas where college and professional sports are played because they are invariably too noisy. The world record for stadium noise, according to Guinness, was set at a professional football game in Kansas City in 2014 at 142.2 A-weighted decibels.*

That’s louder than the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s maximum permissible noise exposure level, which is “only” 140 dBA.

That’s loud enough to cause instantaneous ear damage, with disruption of the delicate inner ear microstructures needed to hear.

During the COVID lockdowns last year, football teams got used to playing in empty stadiums in relative quiet, with coaches able to shout instructions from the sidelines and players able to communicate with each other on the field.

As this report in the Seattle Times notes, those days are over.

Go team!!! Quietly.

*Decibels are a unit of sound measurement. A-weighting adjusts unweighted sound measurements for the frequencies heard in human speech.

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