Friday, March 16, 2012

Hot Topics: Is The Big House Loud?

Each week, our writers break down a "Hot Topic" among the Michigan fans and allow them to express their personal opinions on the issue.  Topics cover everything from rivalry games to team and fan apparel.  Writers have their own opinion and readers are welcome to comment or contact them via Twitter with their thoughts.

Kyle Curtiss - Representing Those That Believe The Big House Is Loud 

1)  We all know the Big House is the largest stadium in the country, right? Take out the fanfare of the Cowboys stadium, the obnoxiousness of Ohio's stadium, and the basicness of Penn State's. Nothing compares to Michigan Stadium (unless you went overseas). Size = Volume!

2)  With the luxury suites in place, as well as bigger scoreboards, the sound from the fans now reflects back into the stadium. Considering the bulk of the stadium was always in ground, the acoustics can travel up to the luxury suites and press boxes and bounce back in.

3)  Sure the stadium is kind of quiet while playing Eastern Michigan, or Western...but when Notre Dame, MSU, OSU, or any other conference foe come in to play, they know they're playing in THE BIG HOUSE. The fans, especially the student section, get more amped up for those games. Besides, don't we all love singing along to "Sweet Caroline"?


Thomas Beindit - Representing Those That Believe The Big House Is Too Quiet

1)  The Big House does not have a great reputation when it comes to raw volume.  Sure, it's huge and can get loud at times, but I don't think anybody thinks it is even close to the loudest stadium in the conference or country.  To me, the most obvious example of this is during an defensive 3rd down situation.  Anybody who goes to the Big House could explain what happens.  Every section (excluding the student section) stands up to make noise in the hopes of stopping the other team on 3rd down.  Sure, they make noise on that play, but they sit down and are silent for the remaining plays.  Other stadiums stand and make noise on every play, not just the "important" ones.

2)  Fans in the Big House also refuse to participate in almost any fan activity.  Again, this excludes the student section, but when the "wave" goes around the stadium it almost dies instantly when it leaves the student section.  Along with this, many of the fans won't participate in the "chants" that are designed to intimidate opponents.  Even at the "best" points (Seven Nation Army during the Notre Dame game) many of the fans do not participate.

3)  Another clear example of the stadium's noise problem is during big plays.  Sure, the fans will stand up on 3rd down situations, but as soon as the players start waving their arms to get the fans to make noise there is a drastic difference in stadium volume.  If the fans were actually making noise this massive difference wouldn't be possible.  The fact is the majority of fans sit on their hands or simply stand up and make no noise (excluding student section).


Final Points

Kyle - At no game that I've been to, whether it's been at the Big House or Comerica Park, Silverdome or even the Lansing Lugnuts---NO fans stand up and cheer the entire game. It doesn't matter if it's 3rd down and goal for the defense, or 1st and 10 from our own 5....the fans will always stand when it's appropriate. I've been to the Big House for the triple-OT win over Sparty, and against Miami of Ohio.  Fans cheer for the biggest plays. I've been there for the "wave", and I'm not the only one that thinks it's ill-timed during some games, and the "wave" itself gets kind of outdated after awhile. In the end, I wouldn't trade the Big House noise for anything. It's loud at the right times, and soft at enough times to be able to scream and be heard. It's just that electric!

Thomas - Sure, the Big House is the nation's largest stadium, but that doesn't mean it's the loudest stadium.  When about 75% of the fans make almost no noise on a play-by-play basis, having a ton of people doesn't really accomplish a lot.  Right now, there is one corner of the stadium that actually makes noise, the student section.  I do agree that the suites and scoreboards increased the stadium volume, but should the athletic department play crowd noise over the speakers too so that the new renovations can actually capture some noise?  If people don't make noise, the renovations won't capture anything.  I'm also willing to agree that the fans are louder for the "big" games like ND, MSU, and OSU, but shouldn't that be expected?  I could care less if the crowd is loud for Eastern, but in crucial situations in big games the Big House just doesn't get as loud as other stadiums.


All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity.  Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with their thoughts

Photo Credit: Thomas Beindit


  1. It's definitely the attitude of the people in the stadium. I'm 16 and went to a few games last year and was told multiple times to "sit down and shut up" for screaming when the team was on defense, excluding 3rd down/big plays.

  2. Im 36 and have dealt w the same bs since I started going in the 80s. Im not an alumni but have probably attended more games than most alumni in 18 years. If I had a dollar for every time that some cranky attendee (i refuse to refer to them as a fan) told me to sit down on a 3rd n long play, or when a ball was heaved deep downfield, I could retire. I have never stood on 1st or 2nd down unless all in front of me were. Im sick of these pompus, self entitled, disrespectful, bump on a log dinosaurs talking to me like I am their child. Ive run into this from the worst of seats, to the best of seats. The stadium is littered with duds. For that reason, the big house has always been, and always will be, weak when it comes to noise. This excludes special moments I.e. big play against osu, or last second win. Ive been lucky to see games at multiple venues, and the big house is last on the noise meter on an average. Ive always been extremely disappointed in this and love that you brought it up for me to vent!

  3. I have never been to a Michigan home game (which shocks everyone when I tell them that considering I lived in CBus for 26 years)and have only seen them play in person at the Gator bowl (which I wish I could take back). I have read these same comments in the "letters" section of The Wolverine Magazine, which I have been a subscriber of since the early 90's. I always see phrases such as sitting on their hands, empty student section, people telling others to sit down, etc..It is very fair to say the stadium was at its loudest during this past season due to the luxury boxes and scoreboards.
    I will get to see for myself on Nov. 17th when Iowa pays a visit.