Chargers games are actually loud! There's just one problem
10:42 PM ET
- Arash MarkaziESPN Senior Writer Close
- Former columnist and writer after five years with Sports Illustrated
- Markazi has also written for Slam, King, Vibe and Playboy
- On board of directors for Jim Murray Memorial Foundation.
CARSON, Calif. -- As Younghoe Koo's potential winning field goal sailed through the air, the crowd of 25,381 at the StubHub Center, the temporary home of the Los Angeles Chargers, roared as the cannon that fires whenever the Chargers score went off.
There was only one problem with this scene for the Chargers -- Koo's field goal was wide right and the Miami Dolphins won 19-17.
For the second week in a row, Koo missed a field goal attempt at the end of the game as the crowd celebrated , but this time his miss occurred at home, or at least what will serve as the Chargers' home for the next three seasons.
"I thought there was great energy in the stadium," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said after the game. "Obviously the loudest roar came at the end after the missed field goal. That's where you really got to see how many Dolphins fans there were. I heard the roar before I saw the official's signal. I wasn't sure which roar it was."
ESPN.com measured the noise levels at the StubHub Center throughout the Chargers' first regular-season game at the StubHub Center, and Koo's missed field goal attempt and the ensuing crowd reaction following the Chargers' last second loss registered the loudest volume of the day at 106.1 A-weighted decibels (dBA).
For comparison's sake, the average volume during an NFL game is estimated to be in the mid-90-decibel range (the average at StubHub Center on Sun day was about 80), and the Kansas City Chiefs hold the noise record for the loudest outdoor sports stadium, registering a 142.2, which is similar to being on an aircraft carrier deck.
The crowd at StubHub Center for today's Los Angeles Chargers game.Arash Markazi, ESPN Senior Writer
There were approximately 12 moments in the game in which the noise level at StubHub Center broke 100 dBA, and Dolphins fans accounted for five of them, including Cody Parkey's go-ahead 54-yard field goal with 1:05 left. The Chargers, however, are no strangers feeling like the road team when playing at home. That was often a point of contention for Chargers players during the end of their time in San Diego. Home games against teams like Miami, Oakland, Kansas City and Denver, all teams they are playing at StubHub Center this season, often felt like away games.
"I think it's always been a little bit of something you battle," Rivers said. "We battled it down i n San Diego -- I think just obviously the weather, the climate lends to that. If I was somewhere else and was a fan picking a road game to go to, this would be a destination. We've always had to battle that a little bit more. I think that's something [where] if we get going and put some wins together -- we've got to get one first -- then we'll see more and more of our fans."
It wasn't that the Chargers fans didn't make noise during the game. The second- (105.9) and third- (105.8) loudest sounds the crowd made occurred when Melvin Ingram and Chris McCain sacked Jay Cutler on a pair of third-and-goal situations in the second half and forced the Dolphins to kick a field goal. The fourth loudest (105.1) came when Philip Rivers hit Antonio Gates for his record-breaking 112th touchdown as a tight end.
"I thought the energy was good in the stadium, and I thought our fans were good," Rivers said. "They were loud on the third down s and they cheered at all the right times. The Dolphins fans weren't loud to where in third downs, we had a hard time operating or anything like that. It was unique, but it wasn't by any means a disappointment as a player coming out there."
Rivers' bar for a good home crowd is fairly low considering he and the Chargers were forced to resort to silent counts during many home games over the last two seasons.
"The Dolphins traveled well today," Chargers center Matt Slauson said. "But we didn't have to use our silent count, so that was nice. I think it was a good crowd, [there was] a lot of energy out there."
While Rivers and the Chargers didn't have to use a silent count at home, Cutler and the Dolphins didn't either as the road team, so the noise level cut both ways. It got loud during big moments for both teams but never loud enough to force teams out of their comfort zones.
"I think what you're looking for more than anything as a player is energy," said former Chargers Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick, who is now the team's radio analyst. "Whether it's negative energy or positive energy, all you want is a good buzz around you so you feel like what you're doing is important."
While the Chargers now play in a 27,000-seat soccer stadium that was built in 2003 for the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer, some players simply liked the fact that about 95 percent of the seats were filled with fans making noise. The Chargers had a hard time filling 80 percent of the seats at Qualcomm Stadium over their past two seasons in San Diego, which was the worst turnout in the league.
"There was a lot of Charger fans out there and there were a lot of Miami fans out there," Gordon said. "I think it was around 50-50, but it was nice to see a full house."
StubHub Center probably will never give the Chargers the kind of home-field ad vantage they hope to have by the time they move into a new $2 billion stadium in Inglewood with the Los Angeles Rams in 2020, but they also know the only way to raise the volume at games in the interim is to find a way to send their fans home celebrating after games instead of being drowned out by reveling visiting fans.
"We've got to find a way to win a game," Rivers said. "That's what we're most concerned about."Source: Google News