Crowd noise levels in large stadiums are often discussed in the press and by the casual stadium patron; however, there has been little scientific evaluation of these levels and their corresponding effects. An effort was undertaken at Penn State University to measure noise on the field at Beaver Stadium (State College, PA: capacity 107,282) during a PSU football game. The two-fold purpose of these measurements was to evaluate the noise levels with respect to how they affect the game and make real-time, calibrated recordings for future use in the football team’s indoor practice facility. Measurements were taken on the field level using sound levels meters and DAT recorders throughout the PSU vs. Ohio State University football game on 27 October 2007. As a point of comparison, similar measurements were conducted by a team of researchers from Virginia Tech during the VT vs. University of Miami game on 17 November 2007 at Lane Stadium (Blacksburg, VA: capacity 66,233). The crowd noise levels are compared between the two stadiums taking into account the circumstances of the two games, time of day, and design of the stadiums. The levels on the field are evaluated in terms of speech intelligibility, i.e. the ability of the players to communicate with each other. In addition, a hearing loss safety assessment for both fans and players is presented.

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