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Comparing Vancouver noise levels in Stanley Cup finals to Chicago and Philadelphia in 2010

Jun 5, 2011, 7:30 PM EDT

Stanley Cup Bruins Canucks Hockey AP

Last year, we followed the competing noise levels between Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers fans during the 2010 Stanley Cup finals. NHL.com is keeping track of the ear-splitting volumes of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals as well, so we thought it would be interesting to follow those trends again.

Before we get into the Decibel Meter readings for Game 2 in Vancouver, NHL.com provides some context about how these sound levels would affect your hearing (and comfort) during a game.

Level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss:      90 – 95dB
Pain begins:     
125dB
Loudest recommended exposure WITH hearing protection:      
140dB
Loudest sound possible:      
194dB

Looking at last year’s first four games, Chicago’s crowd hit 121dB and 122dB peaks in their first two home games while Philadelphia hit 114dB and 118dB in Games 3 and 4. While we couldn’t find readings from Game 1 in Vancouver, NHL.com provides some of the highest levels of noise saturation in Game 2. Here are some of the most interesting readings.

Pre-game “Manny! (Malhotra) chant: 98dB – like a snowmobile
Malhotra’s first shift, appears on video screen: 108dB – Power saw
Burrows’ first goal: 111dB – Sandblasting
Daniel Sedin‘s tying goal: 114dB – Loud rock concert
Burrows scores the OT winner: 117 dB – Loud rock concert
Fans chant “We Want the Cup” – Snowmobile

Obviously, it became very loud at points in Rogers Arena during Game 2, yet Chicago’s crowd hit higher peaks in both of their games and Philadelphia managed a higher peak in Game 4. That doesn’t mean that they were louder over the long haul, but it might give some credibility to Philly and Chicago as strong hockey markets if they can hang with a Canadian one.

The Canucks crowd’s loudest times provided a stark contrast to some long stretches when it seemed like you could hear a pin drop in Game 2 in Vancouver (or so it seemed on TV, at least). The Vancouver audience seemed substantially subdued when Boston was holding onto a 2-1 lead in the third period, prompting many (myself included) to wonder why they were so rattled when the Canucks were only trailing by a single goal. Obviously, that solemn atmosphere didn’t last forever, especially once Daniel Sedin notched things up by scoring on a yawning net.

It’s quite possible that Vancouver fans were simply terrified that the team might let its best chance to win a first-ever Stanley Cup slip away. That’s an understandable fear and they certainly showed great passion when the Canucks got back into the game (and also showed fantastic spirit when Malhotra completed his courageous comeback).

Please keep in mind that there probably aren’t big differences in these results; ultimately these fan bases are making a ton of noise. That being said, it’s fun to back up (or refute) assumptions about loud crowds with hard numbers. We’ll let you know how the crowds in Boston perform as the Bruins try to fight their way back into this series and we’ll also keep an eye on Vancouver’s crowds if the series stretches to five games or more.

  1. rateyourseats - Jun 5, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    It would be interesting to see what the sound levels are like within different parts of the stadium. Is it louder at the top or near the ice? We definitely see different fan types sitting in different sections when they rate their seats on RateYourSeats.com so it would be interesting to see if the noise levels were different as well.

  2. dbick - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Also would like to know the capacities of the respective arenas

  3. jayslang - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    While the crowd at Rodgers arena gets loud at the right times, the noice has not been sustained. The single biggest reason for that is the types of fans at the game. At over $1000 a seat in the lower bowl, and the cheapest seat north of $500, it’s not your rank and file Canucks fan going to the game. It’s heavily corporate and let’s face it the 40 year old businessman with a client is not going to be nearly as rowdy at a game as a group of 25 year olds having beers.

    Now if you want to hear some real noise, put a reader on the outside of the CBC building where 20,000+ real fans watch the game…I guarantee those numbers crush the stadium levels…

    • goldnd - Jun 6, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      Im sure the other teams dealt with the same prices. Stop making excuses.

  4. jayslang - Jun 7, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    On Stub Hub today the cheapest ticket for a game in Vancouver is $1600, in Boston they start at $550. Not an economics major, but I’m pretty sure those prices are not even close to the same.

    $3000 and pair vs. $1000 a pair is a big difference…

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