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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.