NFL teams allowed to increase fake crowd noise in stadiums


The relative silence was apparently too deafening for the NFL.

The league is reportedly allowing teams to crank up fake crowd noise this season for games that are being played in empty stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NFL this week sent a memo to all teams informing them that stadium audio engineers can now blast crowd noise as high as 80 decibels, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

The new threshold allows for volume roughly as loud as a "food blender or a freight train," CBS Sports reported. The previous maximum volume was 70 decibels.

The change was set to go in effect for Week 3, Pelissero reported. Teams must declare their maximum volume at least 90 minutes before kickoff, and can't change it once the game is under way, he added.

The move comes as all major sporting events grapple with how to best simulate the game-day stadium setting with limited or no fans in attendance.

Many broadcasts use their own fake crowd noise, so there probably won't be a major difference for most TV viewers. However, most sports have seen an increase of microphones pickup player dialogue -- for better and sometimes worse.

The decision could also help restore some degree of home-field advantage, Pelissero noted.

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