Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

NFL still working on allowable decibel level for fake crowd noise

Mike Florio lays out what the NFL is considering for fake crowd noise during the 2020 season and explains why the current proposal isn't fair.

The NFL will use artificial crowd noise. The question is: How loud will it be?

PFT reported last week that the fake crowd noise is expected to be in the range of 70 to 85 decibels.

A Competition Committee meeting later this week is expected to bring the final answer.

“We’re working on that,” Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said Tuesday on a conference call. “We’re trying to finalize the decibel levels -- in dome, outside. We will have them finalized in the coming days.”

The league appears set to allow all 32 teams to pipe in fake noise, whether fans are in the stands or not. That is a change in what originally was anticipated for teams allowing a limited stadium capacity.

“We’ve curated audio that will be played in all stadiums that don’t have fans,” Vincent said. “Then, it’s not prohibited in stadiums actually where fans are permitted.”

A league source confirmed Vincent’s quote is accurate but added that the overall policy still is being worked out.

Only a handful of teams are expected to begin their home schedule with fans in the stands, and with a limited capacity. The league hopes other teams will have fans before the end of the season.

“I believe that we may be having a lot of teams that start with no fans at the beginning of this season and they evolve to fans,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Everyone is taking a cautious approach. We’re working with public health officials, and that will be our driving priority. We’re not going to go against public health officials. . . . Seventy percent of our fans are keeping their season-ticket deposits with the games in hopes they can buy a ticket for later this season or next season. Our fans, I’m just overwhelmed by their passion and their desire to follow football. From our standpoint, we’re going to create a safe environment in our stadiums, and we’re going to invite them in whenever we can do that in a responsible and safe way.”