It’s almost football season, which means it’s time for the debut of new and/or newly renovated stadiums. In Minnesota, the Vikings‘ new $1.1 billion dome (nearly all of it funded with public money) opened for a preseason game on Sunday, and it was really really loud in there:
But several Vikings players compared its volume favorably to the Metrodome after a preseason game, and initial acoustic readings topped out at 114 decibels during the 23-10 win over the San Diego Chargers.
That’s up from 105 decibels at a soccer match the week before, and about the same as the team averaged at the old Metrodome. So not out of the ordinary, but still, that’s way louder than the average stadium, and potentially ear-damaging, says WCCO:
U.S. Bank Stadium could be the loudest stadium Minnesota has ever seen. The Minnesota Vikings website says the roof on U.S. Bank Stadium features more “acoustically reflective material” and “should make the stadium louder” than the Metrodome.
A local radio station measured the sound during the soccer match at U.S. Bank Stadium reaching over 105 decibels. HealthPartners says that is ten times louder than the volume at an average NFL stadium.
Dr. Geddes says any sound over 85 decibels can damage tiny cells inside the ear. Even if your ears stop ringing after a loud event, you could have problems down the line.
“It’s not necessarily that you go home with permanent hearing loss after one-time visit, but over an extended period you may have noise-induced hearing loss,” Dr. Geddes said.
Dr. Geddes says it’s important to wear ear plugs during loud games.
I can’t tell from the coverage whether this was loud crowd noise or loud amplified music and such. But either way: It’s loud, which is what the Vikings intended, so wear protection.
And speaking of protection, the Miami Dolphins unveil their $350 million stadium renovations on Thursday (most of privately funded by owner Stephen Ross, though he’s still trying to get more public money retroactively), and have spent the runup busily spraying everything in sight for Zika-carrying mosquitoes, and hoping they don’t get hit by a hurricane.
If anyone here went to the Vikings game or goes to the Dolphins game and has any less apocalyptic reviews, please share them in comments.