After two weeks of trial, the NFL is adjusting its in-stadium audio policy.
The league informed clubs of several updates to the policy, including allowing stadiums with fewer than 2,500 fans to play curated audio up to 80 decibels, and no longer requiring fans with 2,500 or more fans to play curated audio at all, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.
The league had previously required all stadiums to play stadium-specific, pre-recorded audio it delivered to each club at 70 decibels starting at kickoff, no matter the attendance, with no allowance for raising or lowering levels.
Under the adjusted policy, home clubs with 2,500 or more fans can still choose to use the audio — known informally as the “murmur” — and the decibel level must be selected and delivered to the league 90 minutes before kickoff, per Pelissero. The decibel level must also remain the same no matter who possesses the football, with NFL Football Operations monitoring.
Another change in the adjusted policy includes removal of a decibel limit for PA announcements, music, etc., during approved times in the stadium, Pelissero added.
The audio played in the stadium is intended to mimic the sound of a venue filled with fans as the league operates amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited fan attendance in some stadiums and barred fan attendance entirely in others. It is not the same crowd audio that can be heard on television broadcasts of NFL games, which are controlled separately.
The league adjusted its policy after communicating with teams and receiving feedback, per Pelissero.