NFL Sets Penalties For Not Following Crowd Noise Protocols

The NFL has issued its crowd noise protocols and all NFL stadiums will feature crowd noise to start the season whether or not fans are allowed inside the stadium, according to a memo sent out to teams last week.  The league-provided crowd noise is to be played at 70 decibels and failure to follow the rules will result in aggressive fines from the home office.

According to IAC Acoustics, 70 decibels is equivalent to "passenger car at 65 mph at 25 ft (77 dB); freeway at 50 ft from pavement edge 10 a.m. (76 dB). Living room music (76 dB); radio or TV-audio, vacuum cleaner (70 dB)."

Highlights from the NFL's crowd noise memo:

• League-curated audio must be played in all stadiums that do not admit fans. To begin the season, curated audio must be played in stadiums that admit fans. NFL Football Operations will re-evaluate the use of audio in stadiums with fans as the season progresses. 

• Your club's game presentation staff must play the curated audio through the stadium's PA system at 70 dBs.

• Clubs are prohibited from implementing any additional remote fan crowd noise, including from the parking lots or other areas outside the stadium. 

• A club's failure to adhere to these policies, including any attempt to manipulate the League-provided curated audio, will constitute a violation of the Game Operations Manual. Violations of any of the policies set forth above or in the Game Operations Manual may result in the imposition of fines on the club, fines and/or suspensions of persons involved, and/or the forfeiture of a draft choice(s), including for first offenses. Ignorance of a policy or rule set forth in this Manual will not be considered a mitigating factor with respect to the assessment of accountability measures. 

In 2014, Arrowhead Stadium set a Guinness Book of World Records outdoor stadium crowd noise record by hitting a measured mark of 142.2 decibels. Arrowhead will be at 22% capacity Thursday night when the NFL season starts with Texans-Chiefs.

Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.