The Super Bowl and Noise

NFL Super Bowl Today! (And the Attendant Noise.)

I have posted about loud football stadiums before on this blog.  But since today is Super Bowl day, 2014, I thought I would update the ‘noise in stadiums’ issue.

First, let me remind you of the loudest stadium in the NFL – the CenturyLink Stadium in Seattle. Decibel levels there have been measured at 135 dBs.


This stadium was purposely built to be loud. In fact, it is often called the “12th Man” (American football teams have 11 players on the field), because the volume from the home team makes it very hard for the visiting team to hear down on the field. (You can read my earlier post on stadiums and noise levels here.)

Here is another, more recent article about how loud it can get at the CenturyLink Stadium.

When the New Orleans Saints played the other week in Seattle, they found a way to deal with the 12th Man – they wore custom-made earplugs!!  (They lost, but I don’t think it was due to the noise interference.)

The Seattle stadium is so loud that a local hearing aid company gave away 10,000 sets of earplugs to help protect fans’ hearing.  (Good advertising, but also a very kind act.)

If you are going to attend a game at a big stadium, here is a reminder about how bad it is for your hearing to sit in the middle of such noise levels.

Today the Super Bowl game is being played in East Rutherford, New Jersey, at the MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Jets. This stadium holds 82,500 people.  (This is almost twice as many people as they can fit in the Rogers Centre in Toronto.) Just look at the photo below.  Imagine sitting inside there with 82,000 people yelling and screaming, with the sound system booming!


Oticon Inc. is a company that makes hearing devices. Their headquarters is very near the MetLife Stadium. Oticon is concerned about the hearing problems people will encounter at the game. It seems that the MetLife stadium is also a very loud venue, with a lot of noise-reflecting surfaces. Take 82,000 people, get them all together, surround them with surfaces that bounce sound around, and you have a very loud place indeed. And remember, the various NFL stadiums pride themselves on their noise levels, and compete to be the loudest.

metlife 1So, if you are at the game, or even just at a sports bar watching the game, get those earplugs in! It might be fun to see the game, but not at the cost to your hearing.

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