Power Ranking the NFL's 10 Loudest Stadiums
This is just a guess, but the deeper the NFL gets into its season, the louder fans get.
For competitive teams, fans have competitive reasons to get loud.
For non-competitive teams, fans have hostility and disappointment to crank out the best that vocal cords have to offer.
But there are always stadiums where noise is an element of the facility, like bricks, mortar and long lines at the restrooms.
Here’s our list of top 10 noise producers, places where ear plugs should be part of the ticket package.
A Legion of 12th Man Wannabes Pump Up the Volume
1. CenturyLink Field, Seattle. They make jet engines in Seattle, and many of the workers who spend Sundays paying devotion to the Seahawks seem to bring that same noise level to the park.
The Seahawks don’t have the same length of time in the NFL of more established teams, but their fans, collectively known as the "12th man,’’ have tried and true vocal cords.
Just this week, the Ravens used huge speakers on overdrive during practice sessions to get ready for a place they consider the loudest in the game.
The place sets the standard.
A Sea of Red and a Wall of Sound Kansas City
2. Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City. Chiefs fans have their blood boiling on game day, or so it seems by the sea of red that washes into Arrowhead on Sundays.
They like to chant "we’re going to beat the hell out of you, you, you," and when they aren’t chanting, they’re screaming.
Machines that rate the loudness of jet engines have been brought in to rate Kansas City’s noise, and the stadium has never been found wanting.
The Noise-Making Machine That Is in Indianapolis
3. RCA Dome, Indianapolis. The Colts have not one but two reasons for noise, although this year’s Peyton Manning-less team is testing the first.
Indianapolis fans seem to have voices that shatter glass.
And the dome has monster speakers that add to the cacophony, so much so that a few years ago, the Colts had to defend themselves against charges that they were augmenting the noise level artificially.
But the dome leaves the noise with nowhere to go except down your spine.
Decades of Frustration Breaks Loose in New Orleans
4. Superdome, New Orleans. Even in the down years, before the Saints became a yearly power in the NFL, Superdome noise was always an issue for visiting teams.
Now that the Saints are right there with the best of them (30 wins in the last 41 games coming into Sunday’s game in Atlanta), the pent-up frustration of the early decades of Saintsdom has given way to serious screaming.
The place just rocks.
Vikings Fans Keep the Metrodome Rocking
5. Metrodome, Minneapolis. This used to be one of the few baseball/football stadiums in use, and the Twins and the Vikings both had visitors wondering where a wall of sound was being produced.
The Twins are gone, but the Vikings remain, and the fact is that the fans have never lost their taste for making noise that gets caught up in the roof and thunders back down on the field.
A Volume of Noise Covering New England
6. Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. It is 21 miles from Boston to Foxborough, but there are days when it seems like Patriot fans can be heard covering the distance.
The design of the place invites screaming as most of the fans are further away from the field than in most places.
Add in the fact that luxury boxes seem to shake, echoing the vibrations from all of that noise, and there aren’t many places that are tougher on the ears.
Packers Fans Have a History Drenched in Noise
7. Lambeau Field, Green Bay. The powerful winds of late fall and winter are a noise creation of their own in this wind tunnel.
Packers fans, who may not have invented tailgating but who may have brought it to an art form, have ties with their team that echo back through the decades.
And with each new generation of Packers fans, the ability to roar is honed to a high level.
Cowboys Fans Keep Trying To Raise the Retractable Roof
8. Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas. The jewel that sometimes seems like it will consume Arlington is another dome.
And when they built it, it seems as if they forgot to build in any sound absorbing material.
They did build plenty of seats, however, and 87,000 fans of the Cowboys can create havoc with their vocal cords.
Thin Air Helps Broncos' Fans Express Themselves
9. Invesco Field, Denver. The place built next to the Broncos’ old home of Mile High Stadium doesn’t have all that metal framework that helped Denver fans get the place shaking when they were stomping their feet.
That doesn’t stop Broncos fans from expressing themselves, however, and may in fact add to the level of noise.
It doesn’t hurt that while visiting teams can have trouble getting enough oxygen from the thin air of Denver’s elevation, the fans that have lived all their lives in the base of the mountains of Colorado have all the oxygen they need to let loose.
Volume of Debate Never a Problem for Redskins' Fans
10. FedEx Field, Prince George's County, MD. The fans, all some 90,000 of them, tend to roar in this place.
When the Giants came in and took a loss here in September, one of the factors they pointed to was the inability to get plays called over the noise Redskins fans were making.
The stadium design, with fans more or less stacked close to the field, seems to allow the noise to resonate back and forth.