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|Highest Decibels Recorded
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Penn State Nittany Lions
Texas A&M Aggies
Virginia Tech Hokies
If there is one thing that can be said about college football it’s that the passion of fans is unquestioned unparalleled. One obvious byproduct of that is college stadiums that reach unbelievable noise levels. That got us thinking about some of the loudest college football stadiums in the country.
Of course, it helps to have upwards of 100,000 fans in the stands when it comes to creating a lot of noise. After all, the largest college stadiums hold more fans than any NFL stadium. But interestingly enough, there wasn’t always a direct correlation between the largest stadiums and the noisiest. Luckily, we did the leg work on this, and based on the highest decibel ever recorded, here are the 10 loudest stadiums in college football.
Michigan Stadium is the first piece of evidence that size isn’t everything when it comes to making noise.
With a capacity of over 107,000 fans, Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, it once hosted just over 115,000 fans for a game. However, the venue struggles to hold in noise because it’s shaped like a big bowl.
The pure volume of people in Michigan Stadium has produced noise of around 110 decibels. But that pales in comparison to some college stadiums that aren’t as big.
Typically, swamps are somewhat quiet and peaceful places, but that doesn’t apply to Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, AKA, The Swamp.
While the venue’s capacity of 88,548 fans doesn’t match some of Florida’s SEC brethren, the Gators have heard their fans roar at around 115 decibels. There have been times that Ben Hill Griffin has actually been shaking because of the crowd noise.
The folks in Happy Valley regularly get the noise levels at Beaver Stadium well over 100 decibels.
This is particularly true during Penn State’s annual “White Out” game, which is typically a night game when every fan dresses in white and brings a little bit more energy and noise than usual.
As a result, noise levels at Beaver Stadium have been recorded as high as 122 decibels, which is on par with standing next to someone using a sandblaster.
When Tennessee beat Alabama in 2022, Neyland Stadium was able to move up a few spots on this list.
The Volunteers beating a hated rival like the Crimson Tide helped to produce 125.4 decibels of sound, which is literally a thunderous noise. The previous record at Neyland Stadium was 118 decibels.
With noises at that volume, moving from 118 decibels to 125.4 decibels is no small feat, even for a stadium with a capacity of nearly 102,000 fans.
To get a nickname like “Home of the 12th Man” the way Kyle Field does, you have to earn it. Well, Kyle Field has definitely earned it.
During Texas A&M’s game against Alabama in 2017, a blocked punt by the Aggies caused the crowd to reach 126 decibels, setting a new Kyle Field record. To be fair, during most games, the capacity crowd of over 102,000 fans at Kyle Field is able to surpass the noise of a heavy metal concert.
But during a big play against a team like Alabama, the Kyle Field crowd is capable of reaching new heights.
The Virginia Tech Hokies should never be overlooked as a team that can elicit such high volumes from fans.
The folks in Blacksburg love the Hokies, so even with a capacity of just over 65,000 fans, Lane Stadium is one of the loudest in the country. The highest registered volume at Lane Stadium ever recorded at Lane Stadium was 126.2 decibels, which has certainly helped the Hokies gain the reputation for being a team that’s tough to beat on their home field.
Compared to some of the other powerhouse programs in the country, the Oregon Ducks have a relatively small stadium. Autzen Stadium in Eugene fits just 54,000 fans, although that can be bumped up to 60,000 with standing-room-only fans added to the count.
However, that small field works in Oregon’s favor because the fans are close to one another and right on top of the field. Autzen Stadium is also a little sunken while noise reverberates off the top of the stadium in a phenomenon called the “Autzen bounce.” Countless players, coaches, and broadcasters have remarked that it’s the loudest stadium they’ve ever visited, perhaps because it surprised them.
Of course, the bottom line is that Autzen Stadium once produced 127 decibels of noise during a game against USC in 2007. At that level, the noise actually starts to hurt a person’s ears.
Even elite teams fear a trip to Tiger Stadium to play LSU, especially if the game is at night.
That’s when the noise at Tiger Stadium goes to another level. During a 2007 game against Florida, noise levels reached 130 decibels, which is akin to standing next to an aircraft carrier. Keep in mind that this is the same stadium that registered on local seismographs as an earthquake during a game in 1988 and then again in 2022.
It’s no wonder why Tiger Stadium and its capacity of over 102,000 fans is one of the most intimidating places to play in the country.
Known affectionately as Death Valley, Clemson’s Memorial Stadium earns its reputation for being one of the toughest places to play.
The Tigers have become such a juggernaut under Dabo Swinney that few teams that visit even have a fighting chance. But even before Clemson became a perennial national championship contender, Memorial Stadium hit 132.8 decibels in 2007 when the Tigers were hosting Boston College. That much noise is akin to four jackhammers operating at the same time.
In other words, it’s next to impossible to hold a conversation with the person next to you.
It may surprise many to learn that Husky Stadium in Seattle is the loudest college football stadium in the country.
The venue only holds a little over 70,000 fans, which isn’t much compared to some other places. However, it’s all about the unique design of the stadium. There are two huge metal overhangs that are designed to shield fans from the Seattle rain but also help to trap noise, especially with 70% of the seats located along the sidelines. When fans start cheering and stomping their feet, the noise is almost unreal.
During a 1992 game against Nebraska, Husky Stadium reached a level of 133.6 decibels, which remains the most noise ever recorded during a college football game.
Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.More info on Bryan Zarpentine
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