49ers experimenting with crowd noise levels for Levi's


SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers held their third practice in six days inside Levi’s Stadium on Wednesday, evaluating all of their facility options as Week 1 steadily approaches. 

The 49ers have a little more than a week to determine the level of crowd noise they want to hear when facing the Arizona Cardinals. Coach Kyle Shanahan and his staff are trying to determine what will be most ideal for their team. 

“We went in there a couple of practices ago to try to figure it out and we need more work at that,” Shanahan said. “There's a few things to experiment [with] and the rules aren't official yet either. Hopefully we'll get that solidified this week.” 

During their first practice in the stadium on Friday, the 49ers did not play music or use crowd noise. It was a reminder to everyone of how far sound can travel. The media sat in the stands at the top of the lower bowl and could hear Kris Kocurek’s expletive-laced coaching as clear as day. 

Jimmy Garoppolo believes not having fans in the stands could be an advantage at away games. Eliminating the need to use a silent count would be a great benefit for the quarterback. But could the opposing team have an advantage, too? 

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Shanahan slightly chuckled when explaining why he's not worried about opposing teams picking up on his play calls. What he is concerned about is the other side of the ball. 

"I don't call [plays] very loud anyways, because it would drive the quarterbacks crazy if I screamed into the microphone, which goes into their ear," Shanahan said. "So, I usually just say it at a normal voice level, unless I'm in New Orleans and I can't hear myself think.


"The defensive calls and stuff like that to me is a bigger deal. Every time you change strengths and you get to hear what the middle linebacker says and all their calls and stuff, I mean, a lot of quarterbacks could pick up on that."

The 49ers have a few more practices to find the balance between tolerable crowd noise and making it feel like a real game is taking place.