Is It Too Loud in the AAC? What?

Categories: Sports
MariononAACScoreboard.jpg
Flickr user CameliaTWU
This is how loud Mavs playoffs games were at Reunion Arena. And this is how regular season games sound at the American Airlines Center, where, writes The New York Times's Alan Schwartz, "it is hard to tell if the Mavericks' favorite machine during these playoffs is Dirk Nowitzki, their star player, or their sound system." That's from a front-pager this morning on why some sports arenas feel the need to turn it up to 11 -- Dallas especially, where there's hardly a moment of silence in between all the classic rock, clutter and cacophony, which is a far cry, as it were, from the days when the sound track consisted of the "Charge" fanfare banged out on an organ and a respectful "basket by Rolando Blackman," in the words of 27-year Mavs vet Steve Letson, who sits courtside and operates the A/V presentation. Writes Schwartz:
The Mavericks' equipment involves more than simply pumping up decibels to levels that some experts fear could contribute to long-term hearing loss. Rather, with fans spoiled by earbud fidelity and 5.1-channel home theater systems, owners like the Mavericks' Mark Cuban have turned hosting a game into producing an event -- with "assisted resonance" and "crowd enhancement," buzzwords for insiders and euphemisms for others.

Sixty mammoth speakers hanging above the court thunder music and clamorous sound effects louder than a jumbo jet engine. More speakers encircling the seating bowl replicate a roaring herd of horses in perfectly timed surround sound.
The AAC's noise registers somewhere between 90 and 110 decibels and occasionally touches 115, right around the Occupational Safety & Health Administration's not-safe levels over extended periods of time. Which is gonna happen as the arenas get bigger: You need to pump up the volume, lest you get nothing but "echoes and reverberation," in the words of AAC acoustic engineer Jack Wrightson (and Jeff Liles!).
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18 comments
Brad
Brad

It’s: “Tamagotchi meets Pokemon” but with real fusion between the two and for smart-phones. People were crazy about Tamagotchis. It gave the user a sense of pride. You created and developed something and then measured your success by seeing how it fared against the elements. It gave the user a unique feeling of power. My creation survived.Fund to create this awasome game inhttp://www.kickstarter.com/pro...

 

MFFLbro
MFFLbro

What are you saving your hearing for? death? or so you can complain it's too loud in the nursing home because everyone else is deaf and u aren't?  I probably don't think it's that loud because of all the rock concerts down in the mosh pit in front of the stacks and permanent damage from pushing car systems, but like the slogan says... ROWDY, PROUD, AND LOOOOOOOUD - it's supposed to be a loud experience.  I recommend using ear plugs if you can't handle it, it's not like everyone else should be expected to wear hearing aids.  I see plenty of responsible parents plugging their kids and nobody makes fun of them either.  What I can't stand is when people look back at you because you're being "too loud" - usually in the premium seats.  Or the announcer tells you to get on your feet and be loud and people start complaining for you to sit down and shut up... LOL... loudness and standing is not prohibited - only deragatory/obsene language/gestures.  Exercise your ticket-holder rights and your lungs!!  Jet's not flapping his wings... he wants you up and loud!  It's what home-court advantage is all about.  Portland and Chicago know whats up.  Don't let those loudest arena lists fool you.  Utah, Phoenix, Houston and Sacramento ain't what they used to be.  Boston CAN be loud as well as LA, NY is weird because there are so many opponent fans - reminds me of Texas Stadium, lots of cowboy haters.  Any list that doesn't include Dallas is ignorant - which is most of them.  LETS GO MAVS!!!!

Uberherr
Uberherr

even with ear plugs after a game i leave with ears ringing for days. i have had headaches and nausea from being at a Mavs game. So i don't go unless i get free tickets. They will never get my money for a game again in person. many of the NBA games have been measured at over 100 db and often into the ear damage level. 

I had less problems being at the front row of a Slayer concert than at a Mavs games. not to mention the "lighting effects" ala pokemon seizure levels. 

ZC
ZC

On a different note, what's the reason for the strobe lights that flash constantly at the AAC?  It's blinding, and I'm not sure what they are for.

Rnono9
Rnono9

 Let the fans cheer on their own. What these teams are doing is FAKE! 

MattL1
MattL1

I'm fairly young, so I don't mind the volume because my hearing will last forever and whatnot.  But I do find the incessant music and other distractions REALLY annoying.  Basketball is already an exciting game.  You don't need to play AC/DC and have the announcer yelling some crap during every transition.  I know when to chant "De-fense".  It's when the Mavs don't have the goddamn ball.

I don't know.  It may just be a reflection of the direction our culture is headed (which is not a good one).  Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and in order to capture it for a 48-minute sporting event we need to be constantly yelled at and have bright lights flashed at us the whole time. 

Oh well, go Mavs.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Swear, in the last three or so months, everything has doubled its decibels. It's so effin loud on weekends, I've called the authoritah, twice. You know the "McKinney Weekend Jam '11" (every weekend, mind you) has gotten too loud when you are buildings away, and your walls still shake.I know people like Louder! More Action! Drunker! Even Louder than THAT! But, Seriously...? Do we all just want hearing aids in our 40s? Especially, courtesy the AAC or McKinney Ave?

Rrb
Rrb

I'm with you Augie - and also old - I had season tickets for years when they were at Reunion, but could only last two years at the AAC as the "noise" got louder and louder.  I understand the problem as the early games at the AAC were like a tomb, but I couldn't live with the solution either.  Now, I watch and enjoy on the Tube, and give Cuban a lot of credit for what he has done.  Go Mavs

Guest
Guest

I work at Mavs home games, and it's really not THAT loud. Loud, yes. Unhealthy loud, no. Nowhere near as loud as a rock concert, club, or even most bars after midnight on Saturday.

Jack
Jack

You sound just as bad as Andy Rooney.  Games are more fun then they have ever been.  If you dont like it, dont come

Augie
Augie

I have said this for a while now and I'm usually told, quit being an old person.  I've given up on Cuban and company turning down the volume, so I opt for ear plugs. Believe me, you can still hear everything and crystal clear too and even with ear plugs, it is crazy loud.  I wonder about the players who have no choice but to endure this noise every night in different places.  Bet they'll have permanent hearing loss, if they don't already. 

scottindallas
scottindallas

They are for photography.  Sometimes when they run replays you can get what they are doing.  It burns a bit of a freeze frame on your retina too. 

I think it's damned loud, I can't understand the announcers on tv for the noise.  At the games, it's distracting.

Lemonaioli
Lemonaioli

I agree with the constant noise -- not that it's too loud but there's just rarely a quiet moment in the AAC. Geez, you don't have to fill every moment with sound.

They do that at the pregame for Rangers too. I'm thrilled when the game starts because there's not constant sound, noise, talking, etc. Whew!

Nunya
Nunya

You think that's bad. Ever been to a Ranger's game? The game is so boring, they have to have games within the game just to keep people occupied.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Suck it up old man....and if you want something more appeasing head on out to the BPIA, they'll play you some nice johnny cash or waylon jennings.

Augie
Augie

Smerkin - I'm not bitchin.  If I couldn't stand the heat, I wouldn't go to the games.  Nothing wrong with JC of WJ, but I've loved rock n roll my whole life.  That doesn't mean I want to be deaf at 60.  I actually enjoy the feeling of my insides shaking with the huge bass sound at the AAC, but too many days of ears still ringing the next day is the express lane to permanent hearing loss.  No thanks. 

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