Mostly True
Curls
Says Arrowhead Stadium "is considered the loudest stadium in the world."

Kiki Curls on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 in a hearing

Is it true that Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium is considered the loudest in the world?

The Kansas City Chiefs had an outstanding 2018-2019 season by all accounts.

Their second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes exploded onto the NFL landscape with a 5,097-yard, 50-touchdown season that made him the youngest NFL MVP since Dan Marino in 1984.

The combination of Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid led to the Chiefs having one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses, an offense that propelled the team to a 12-4 record, an AFC West division title and a playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts.

While the season came to a heartbreaking end in a 37-31 home overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs fans remain excited about the future.

On Jan. 22, two days after the loss to the Patriots, state Sen. Kiki Curls, D-Kansas City, argued for a resolution, SCR4, designating the Kansas City Chiefs as the official football team of the state of Missouri in front of the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics committee.

While presenting her arguments, Curls said, "We are one of the biggest tailgating teams in the country and (Arrowhead) is considered the loudest stadium in the world."

Is Arrowhead Stadium really the loudest stadium in the world? We wanted to find out.

A world record

Well, according to the Guiness Book of World Records, Curls, who did not respond to our request for comment, is right.

On Sept. 29, 2014, Guiness measured an ear-shattering 142.2 dbA roar at Arrowhead Stadium in the Chiefs’ 41-14 rout of the Patriots. The record-breaking sound came with 8 seconds left in the first quarter after the Chiefs stuffed New England’s Shane Vereen for no gain on second down.

To give you some context, 140 dbA is the estimated sound on the deck of a busy aircraft carrier.

However, the Guinness record is for loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium, not loudest stadium overall. The record is basically the loudest moment recorded inside a sports stadium.

These roars are far from authentic. Teams typically prompt the fans with "get loud" messages on the jumbotron, and fans are informed before the game that the team is attempting to break the record.

While measuring authentic crowd noise throughout a game would be a better way to determine the loudest stadium, we were unable to find numbers measuring anything other than individual crowd roars.

"One hundred percent (we can feel the energy of the crowd)," Mahomes said in a January news release. "Whenever you can go out in pregame warmups and feed on the energy because the fans are there packing the stadium that early, it truly is special. We feed off that the entire game."

Back in 1990, Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway asked the referee to quiet down the Arrowhead crowd. It happened again in 1992 in a game against the Oakland Raiders, this time with the referees threatening to take one of Kansas City’s timeouts if the crowd did not dial back the volume.

The brief history of the unofficial title of world’s loudest stadium is interesting.

Until 2013, supporters of Galatasaray, a Turkish football club, held the record for a March 2011 roar that reached 131.76 dbA.

This mark was first bested by Seattle Seahawks fans at Centurylink Field on Sept. 15, 2013, with a 136.6 dbA reading. The record was then contested between the Chiefs and the Seahawks for the remainder of the season, with the Chiefs breaking the Seahawks’ record 28 days later only for Centurylink Field to later regain the top spot before Arrowhead set the current record in 2014.

Some may point to the 76,416 max capacity at Arrowhead Stadium as opposed to the 67,000 capacity at Centurylink Field as the reason for the Chiefs holding the record. However, this fails to account for the structural differences between the two stadiums.

The architectural director who designed CenturyLink Field, Paul Greisemer, said the stadium was designed to enhance crowd noise, pointing to the roof, closeness of the fans, and use of metal and concrete as the primary factors.

"It’s a metal roof, so it naturally is a very reflective surface," Greisemer said in an interview with KIRO Radio. "As is the seating bowl, which is largely concrete. So there are a lot of those materials that are serving as sound mirrors, if you will, and bouncing the sound right back.

"The way the roof is angled, and the way the bowl captures all the sound that goes backwards and focuses it back towards the center of the stadium, you’re pretty much going to get the maximum affect right at the players."

So while the Guiness record isn’t a great measure of what is actually the loudest stadium throughout the game, Arrowhead Stadium has as good a claim as any stadium to the title of world’s loudest stadium.

Our ruling

Curls said Arrowhead "is considered the loudest stadium in the world."

The Guinness Book of World Records says Arrowhead Stadium’s 142.2 dbA roar during the Sept. 29, 2014, game against the Patriots is the loudest crowd roar ever recorded at a sporting event.

This record, along with other examples of extremely loud crowds at Arrowhead Stadium, gives Arrowhead legitimate claim to the title of world’s loudest stadium. However, since the Guiness record is far from a perfect measurement, Curls’ claim could use some additional context. We rate the statement Mostly True.