Posted September 25, 2013

NCAA ranks LSU’s Death Valley the loudest college stadium

LSU Tigers, Oregon Ducks, Stadiums, Texas A&M Aggies, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wisconsin Badgers
With a current capacity of 92,542, Tiger Stadium's roar has helped LSU win more than 70 percent of its home games.

With a capacity of 92,542, Tiger Stadium’s roar has helped LSU win 71 percent of its home games. (Bill Haber/AP)

These lists seem to come out every year, but the NCAA’s “High Five” video segment took a shot at ranking the NCAA’s five loudest stadiums. LSU’s Tiger Stadium, otherwise known as Death Valley, came in at number one. The full top five was:

No. 5: Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech

No. 4: Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin

No. 3:  Kyle Field, Texas A&M

No. 2: Autzen Stadium, Oregon

No. 1: Tiger Stadium, LSU

It’s hard to argue with the five as presented, although Ohio Stadium at Ohio State (the Horseshoe), Bryant-Denny Stadium at Alabama, Sanford Stadium at Georgia, Williams-Brice Stadium at South Carolina, Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor (the Big House) and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida (the Swamp) all get pretty deafening in big games too. The trouble with making these sorts of lists is how do you rank noise? Is it an average of the loudest moments from every game, the highest decibel level reached during a season or just an arbitrary feeling?

Did the NCAA get it right, or did it completely miss the mark?

114 comments
jnoble57
jnoble57

Syracuse recorded 120 for a basketball game at the Carrier dome a few years ago with only 33K.   Add in the other 17K...when Donovan McNabb threw the tight end throwback for a win against Virginia Tech in '98 or the two point conversion for the win in '87 against West Virginia to cap an undefeated season... I would be willing to bet the decibel level at either of those times was well into the 130s.  

NathanielRies
NathanielRies

This list is a joke. 

According to ESPN, the loudest ever recorded crowd noise was at University of Washington, with a crowd noise of 133.6 decibels.

Unless you've actually recorded the crowd noise, the stadium shouldn't be on any list.

PamHarris-Griffith
PamHarris-Griffith

What other stadium has ever registered as an EARTQUAKE on the Richter Scale during a game? If you've never been to Death Valley on a Saturday night in the Fall when the bourbon is flowing, the gumbo has been cooking all day and the Tigers are playing one of their biggest rivals---- then you have no idea what this article is even talking about. It's deafening, it's thunderous ----IT'S AWESOME!

DrewPrice
DrewPrice

I guess the contributors to this list haven't been to the real Death Valley in Clemson, SC.  It gets louder there than Lane Stadium ever could.

tymmac007
tymmac007

It gets pretty wild at Vonnie Gros Field in West Chester, PA!

RCH
RCH

At LSU they don't use decibel meters, they use seismographs. 

dipthought
dipthought

When Jarvis Moss the last second SC field goal at the Swamp in 2006, that was the some loud. Just saying.

schlypdog
schlypdog

On October 27, 2007, during a 24–17 victory against the USC Trojans, a then-record crowd of 59,277 fans was recorded at 127.2 decibels. A similarly loud 31–27 upset of third-ranked Michigan in 2003 prompted a Michigan Daily columnist to write[22]

“ Autzen's 59,000 strong make the Big House collectively sound like a pathetic whimper. It’s louder than any place I’ve ever been, and that includes The Swamp at Florida, The Shoe in Columbus, and Death Valley at Louisiana State. Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die. ”

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr later said that Autzen Stadium was the loudest stadium he'd ever been in.[23]

A view of the field during the 2007 USC game. The new press box on the south side, built in 2002, is visible to the left

In 2006, a Sporting News columnist named Autzen the most intimidating college football stadium in the nation.[24]

Lee Corso of ESPN College Gameday frequently says, "Per person Autzen Stadium is the loudest stadium that I have ever been in my entire life!"[25]

Jahvid Best, a former starting running back for the Detroit Lions, visited Autzen while playing for the California Golden Bears in 2007. He later said, "The biggest thing I remember about that game is the crowd. The crowd noise is crazy up there. Honestly, any other away game I don't really even hear the crowd. Oregon was the only place where it really got on my nerves."[26]

jbber
jbber

Lane Stadium is probably the loud-mouthiest

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

Doesn't surprise me. Been around a ton of drunk cajuns....those people BRING it...

Joel1
Joel1

I've been to LSU (at night) and Va Tech.

V Tech is louder.

ApolloOne
ApolloOne

It's probably safe to say that a 60,000+ stadium with a team that's at a high point in their history is probably going to be pretty loud. I've been to some stadiums listed above when their teams are mired in a down era, and they weren't very loud.

Huskerstildeath
Huskerstildeath

that's an awesome pic of Tiger Stadium, especially the part where there are empty seats. The myth that SEC has the most passionate fans could not be further from the truth.

RaymondLaw
RaymondLaw

Great debate.  I've always heard that Autzen was the loudest.  It has much more to do with the construction of the building then the rowdy fans.  I went to the Rose Bowl last year and that game reminded me of an 56-0 FCS beat down it was so quiet.  Obvious Stanford fans are the text book definition of boring but Wisconsin fans weren't loud either so it has to be 75% stadium design, 20% capacity and 5% rowdiness of fans.

DavidandTracyAgee
DavidandTracyAgee

Based on facial expressions and performance Urban Meyer's vote would have to be Bryant-Denny.  The man was shocked the first time he went there.

rba1313
rba1313

Can we remove any stadium that hasn't consistently sold out every home game for the past several years at least? (e.g. Texas A&M)  Seems to me that on non-sellout games the stadium can't possible be THAT loud.


CriticJudge
CriticJudge

I've been to to games at Michigan (former season ticket holder), LSU (night game), Nebraska, Oregon (night game), Notre Dame, Ohio State and the Rose Bowl, among others.  Husky Stadium blows them away.  Everyone knows Century Link for Seattle is the loudest in the NFL.   The same city produces the loudest college environment.  Not even close.

ASHROW
ASHROW

I AM A DUCK FAN AND ONCE SAT AMONGST THE HOITY-TOITIES DRESSED IN THEIR COUNTRY CLUB CLOTHES. THEY RARELY YELL. THINK HOW LOUD IT COULD BE IF THEY MADE SOME NOISE.

Desdelinas
Desdelinas

I'm from Raleigh; my best friend went to school at Auburn, and BY FAR the loudest stadium I have ever been to (including Kyle Field, Williams-Bryce, and Bryant-Denny) is the one in Baton Rouge...we were on the <20, row 5, and the stadium was shaking for the infamous 2007 :01 touchdown call by Les Miles...WAR EAGLE, but GEAUX TIGERS!

jfnies22
jfnies22

you are missing the real death valley in Clemson. That place is crazy loud.

imvalalv
imvalalv

@PamHarris-Griffith A's/Giants did! (I think 1986) but not sure on the year, they were at the then known as Candlestick (yes I know they are not a college teams - your comment  is about "stadiums") :)

lol, HAGD!

David84
David84

@schlypdog Where great teams go to die??? I didn't know a quality SEC team ever went to wipe out the rubber duckies? Don't say great til you play with the best ;)

Jared3
Jared3

@Huskerstildeath filling a stadium with bright red make look pretty, but it doesn't make you the most passionate fan base.  funny how nebraska does not even get honorable mention in this article.  i knew lsu would be number one before i even opened this article.  it's been a well-established fact for many years...even during lsu's dark days under archer, dinardo and hallman. nevertheless, if you want the blue ribbon for fans, be our guest...the championship trophies will suit the SEC just fine.

Jared3
Jared3

@RaymondLaw Actually, it's 76% design and 4% fans.  You're right about capacity, though...it's always 20%.

clu
clu

@rba1313 Nah.  Syracuse should be on this list, it dwarfs every other stadium for volume at one quarter capacity.  Now, if only they could field a good team and sell some tickets...

Jeff Gardiner
Jeff Gardiner

@rba1313 Sure,  a crowd of 80,000 in stadium with a capacity of 83,000 (e.g Texas A&M), "can't possibly (sic) be THAT loud. Especially when compared to the noise of a sellout crowd of 66,000 at Lane Field. 

WaiteTravis
WaiteTravis

@CriticJudge I've been to almost every stadium known to man and Oregon is by far the loudest. No one even comes close.... hahahaha the fact that I'm a duck fan does not skew my opinion at all. hahaha

I think this argument is dumb. Once you get to a certain decibel range, you can't even hardly tell a difference. You can't even tell a difference between 129 decibels and 121 decibels.

And I just have to throw out there that Husky Stadium is never too loud in the fourth quarter when Oregon comes to town hahahahaha

jjscott9
jjscott9

@jfnies22"Death Valley" nickname was first applied to Clemson's Memorial Stadium in reference to Howard's Rock, which was plucked for the dessert sands of the actual Death Valley in California. LSU's use of the nickname came along quite by accident. In a tongue-in-cheek reference to Clemson Memorial's nickname, LSU supporters began referring to their stadium as "Deaf Valley", due to the magnificent volume levels produced within. Just saying one comes from where the rock was harvested and the other due to noise levels. Geaux Tigers!

HatBoudin
HatBoudin

@kman @Huskerstildeath Unfortunately the empty section is the student section. My guesses: 1) The game hadn't started yet and most of the students were still in that stupid long line/mob trying to get in... or 2) The Tigers were up by more than 4 touchdowns and the students got bored and left for the bars... or 3) Everyone got really hungry all at once and went to the concession stands.

I really hope it's not number 2, but the students are known to do things like that. Most of the sorority girls leave at half time no matter what the score is. The rest of the students only stick around if it's a close game or a good opponent. The number of students that you do see still there is a pretty accurate representation of how many are actually loyal.

-An LSU Student

P.S. But our stadium is the loudest.

RebekahHebertWoessner
RebekahHebertWoessner

@kman LMAO!  Wow, a Husker fan that likes to poke at the big Tiger with a very little stick.   Shocker!  I love the way they are in denial about being mediocre.  :-)

Craig
Craig

@WaiteTravis @CriticJudge You probably should return to school and study the decibel scale.  HINT:  It's logarithmic, and each increase of three db constitutes a doubling of the apparent sound, so from 121 to 129 represents nearly a multiple of eight times the apparent sound.  There is, however, a point at which your ears can no longer sense as much difference...they can, however, easily catalogue the damage done to your ears.  HINT:  That's why people on the decks of aircraft carriers wear protective headsets.

CriticJudge
CriticJudge

@WaiteTravis @CriticJudge I've been to Autzen (I live in the NW) and it is indeed loud and should be in the top 5.   But frankly, you guys blow people out so bad it isn't very sustained.  And the seating capacity limits how loud it can get (only 54K).  I saw a night game there last year, and though loud, Husky Stadium is louder for longer periods during the game.  Watch the Oregon/Tenn game v Wash/Boise St.  Pretty apparent which stadium is louder for longer periods.

CTigers1661
CTigers1661

@jjscott9 @jfnies22Not quite.  Lonnie McMillian, head coach of Presbyterian College (i believe) in or around 1948, stated that he hated taking his team into Clemson as it was something to the effect of a Death Valley.  This refers to the fact that his team (and many others) never won (or even put up any offense) as well as the positioning of the field, in a valley.  Let's just say Mr. Howard cemented it.  You can have the noise.  We'll take the Chick-Fil-A Bowl! GO TIGERS!!! 

WaiteTravis
WaiteTravis

@CriticJudge @WaiteTravis haha i was being sarcastic. I'm looking forward to seeing what Husky stadium is like this year when Oregon goes up there. It should be rockin with the new stadium and Oregon being in town. Looking forward to making it ten years in a row but this year's Husky team makes me freaking nervous haha

atwood.t
atwood.t

@CriticJudge @WaiteTravis Yikes!  Terrible spelling: "Autzen can get really loud but over the last few years the second halves of games  of games have been pretty quiet because Oregon has been so far ahead. However, the noise is pretty impressive considering the small size of the stadium (58,000 with standing room tickets).

atwood.t
atwood.t

@CriticJudge @WaiteTravis you have a point here. Autzen can get really loud by over the last few years the second halfs of games have been pretty quiet because Oregon is so far ahead.