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SEC stadiums to turn up volume, drown out fans and bands

LSU v Georgia Getty Images

Get ready for more stadium music in between plays at SEC games this season. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity says the conference is relaxing on rules related to stadium noise over speakers and it could change the way the game day environment feels, or sounds, on Saturdays this fall in the south.

“If you need to get people revved up for a big third-down play, you can do that,” McGarity said according to Athens Banner-Herald writer Marc Weiszer. “You could always do it with your band, but now you can do it any way you want to. You still have to stop once the quarterback gets over the ball, gets under the center or in the shotgun.”

McGarity notes the rules are different in the ACC, and the SEC is taking a cue from their regional neighbors. Georgia saw first-hand what that advantage can do to a visiting team when Georgia opened the 2013 season at Clemson.

“Those of us who saw what it did at Clemson, it energized their fan base with certain songs,” McGarity said. Georgia lost to Clemson. Clemson fans attempted to set a world record for stadium noise later in the season with a home game against Florida State.

“They were able to do things in the ACC that we were not in the SEC,” McGarity said. “The rules have changed now for 2014 where we’re able to utilize songs and music up until the point when the quarterback gets over the ball. That’s a big change in the in-game atmosphere.”

College football attendance is a concern for everybody, and every school and conference is on the constant search for ways to make the game day experience in the stadium worth the price of admission. Over the years the game day experience at many of the bigger programs has become more similar to the ones seen in the NFL on Sundays.

Call me old-fashioned, but just give me a great marching band and actual crowd noise any game day over loud, stale and overdone clips of Seven Nation Army every time. There is plenty of passion throughout the SEC, and some great marching bands. Why drown that out?

Helmet sticker to Saturday Down South.

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24 Responses to “SEC stadiums to turn up volume, drown out fans and bands”
  1. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 26, 2014 12:04 PM

    I agree with McGuire on this one…. I’ll take the band and crowd noise anyday. It’s one of the things that makes college football so great.

  2. dmcgrann says: Feb 26, 2014 12:26 PM

    It’s a bad idea. My university began doing all of the PA BS when they built their new stadium. I’ve had seats where I measured the decibel levels coming from the PA at over 130 db – during the half. The Pep Band begins to play, and they’re immediately drowned out by the PA.

    Worst of all, when the fans get excited and begin to make some noise, they get drowned out by the PA – and the crowd noise stops dead. It just overwhelms them.

  3. Tim's Neighbor says: Feb 26, 2014 12:27 PM

    I prefer a band as well, but let’s face it… If we’re perusing college football blogs in the middle of the offseason, we’re not the laymen fan. Sometimes those folks need a little assistance. If this is what gets them off their hands and being disruptive, I’ll take it.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:30 PM

    Turn off the damned music! Fans at the game are there to watch a game not listen to some grunge rap crap.

  5. howintensive says: Feb 26, 2014 12:34 PM

    Big Ten would never do that in a million years.

  6. florida727 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:42 PM

    8to80texan is right. If you have to artificially pump up the excitement level at a college football game, then your product on the field must suck.

    And if game attendance is a concern, here’s an idea: make it more affordable for the average fan and their family to attend. To go to some sporting events these days, the phrase ‘disposable income’ has had to be replaced with a different word: refinance.

  7. scoops1 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:58 PM

    I’d like to hear more Slayer, PanterA and GWAR played during games!!!

  8. beanocook says: Feb 26, 2014 1:02 PM

    The stadium atmosphere in the NFL is dreadfully dead. College football in stadium experience blows away the NFL.

    No need to do anything that resembles the NFL.

  9. imaduffer says: Feb 26, 2014 1:26 PM

    I went to an Arena Football game, or was it a rock concert? Never again.

  10. wolfman55h says: Feb 26, 2014 1:36 PM

    I have season tickets to my alma maters football games. The seats cost a fortune. Because the average fan has been priced out of the stadium for probably over ten years its safe to say the average demographic in that stadium of 90k is probably forty plus. But what do we have to listen to every frickin tv commercial break? Our school band which we all love? No, we are assaulted with anti social rap crap spouting off about ‘bangin bitches and hoes.’ It’s one more reason to stay home and watch the game on tv. Memo to all athletic departments: you want our discretionary income to keep heading your way? Start acting like it. #societyintoilet

  11. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 26, 2014 3:03 PM

    I like some of the hype up music sometimes before a big 3rd down or 4th down but why couldn’t the band learn to play some metallica or other hard rock to fill this need.

    I just really love the pageantry and passion of college football and I feel the band is a big part of that.

  12. normtide says: Feb 26, 2014 3:19 PM

    Totally agree with most here. A little pump up music is OK, but I’ve yet to attend an SEC game that lacked in atmosphere. A great example was the iron bowl. Bama lost as much to that atmosphere as they did to the team. That place was rocking. With more SEC teams looking to expand stadiums to over 100k, and with the type of fans we have, noise and excitement won’t be a problem.

  13. southernpatriots says: Feb 26, 2014 3:42 PM

    I was there at Tiger Stadium, LSU in the “Earthquake Game” with Auburn leading LSU 6-0 with two minutes left in the game. QB Tommy Hodson connected with Eddie Fuller for LSU. The only 79+K capacity crowd erupted and the bleachers and ear drums shook. A seismograph registered an earthquake and legend was born. Businessmen downtown Baton Rouge and drivers along I-10 thought there was a explosion. No artificial music. Just the LSU band muffled in the background by the huge eruption of purple and gold fans and this fan who is a genealogical and genetic LSU fan. I could not speak the next day, at least not above a hoarse bull frog.

    LSU fans do not need artificial music, artificial anything. We now have 101K capacity in the stadium and for a great SEC football game, you better bring your ear plugs and Bose Quiet Comfort Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones, which I am carrying in the stadium as standard equipment now since it has expanded.

  14. manik56 says: Feb 26, 2014 6:52 PM

    ACDC can’t cover Sammy Watkins.

  15. goodfieldnohit says: Feb 26, 2014 7:07 PM

    Slow the game down to prevent phantom injuries, but all pumped up noise over the stadium PA.

    SEC football has lost it’s sense of direction.

    Thanks, Saban.

  16. polegojim says: Feb 26, 2014 7:17 PM

    Agreed, it’s time for Hoke to put up.

    He got more from RRs team than his own team.

  17. normtide says: Feb 26, 2014 9:33 PM

    Dang goodfield, two years in and your already complaining? Maybe Texas fans were right about A&M fans. At least compete for a league title before becoming a prima Donna

  18. queenlivekillers says: Feb 26, 2014 10:09 PM

    A little more royalty change coming for Ozzy. That’s a dozen or so new stadiums that will be playing “Crazy Train”!

    🎶Da da, da da, da da, ai, ai, ai…🎶

  19. suprdok says: Feb 27, 2014 3:09 PM

    This became a big issue at Tennessee last year between the band director and administration when he publicly complained about the band being forced to not play due to piped in music! It resulted in him losing his job over the criticism! The music is loud and obnoxious and takes away from the game day experience IMO! Hate it in the NFL too!

  20. suprmous says: Feb 28, 2014 9:58 AM

    Bonjour Southernpatriots, long time no see mon cher and good to “see” you at that. I agree whole heartedly with you. Nothin like bein in Death Valley with Mike, the band, and the Mighty Faithful on a Satday aft’noon or nite. There’s just somethin bout Tiger Rag and our fight song that gets my heart swollen and not to mention da eyes well up with tears.

  21. jgifford25 says: Feb 28, 2014 4:31 PM

    Most marching bands at the college level are supplied with a large number of folks on music scholarships. And the funding source of those music scholarships, the athletic department.

    Yeah, go ahead pipe in the music. You’re just asking the marching band to not play more. And because the marching band is not playing more, you’re also not getting your money’s worth of scholarship payouts.

    Oh wait, guess this means the athletic departments stop paying out for so many music scholarships. Less music scholarships means less people in the band. Less people in the band mean more high priced seats to sell in the stadium. Bad enough the average student cannot even get a seat at events for their own school. Now the students who help lead school spirit cannot even get a seat at a reasonable cost for volunteering.

    See the vicious cycle and end of arts at an athletic event? Maybe even music programs and degrees at the collegiate level?

    Watch out cheerleaders and pom squads, you’re next!

  22. irishfbfan1 says: Mar 1, 2014 10:03 AM

    What? Why don’t you just tell the fans to stay
    Home or watch at a bar! If I were a fan of a
    Team in the SEC I would be pissed! The fans
    and the band’s have always been a part of the
    Magic College Football has to offer. SEC fans
    just like all the fans all over the country have
    A right to be heard! Loud and Clear. Are they
    Trying to make it like the NFL? PLEASE, this is College Football, and good luck trying to drown out SEC fans during the games, my money is on the students and fans!

    GO IRISH

  23. fsu01 says: Mar 2, 2014 10:41 AM

    Agree with just about every post. There is a reason why I prefer college football to the NFL. If college tries to become the NFL, I will not go to the game. First there is the talk of allowing alcohol at some stadiums now there is the talk of piping in music. Leave college football alone if you want drunken rowdies at a game with piped in music then go to an NFL game, if you want football with some level of tradition go to a college game.

  24. normtide says: Mar 2, 2014 2:07 PM

    To me, the NFL is drifting towards being sports entertainment. Getting away from being a football game. There is a difference.

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