The five loudest stadiums in the world
Sydney’s new 45,000-capacity Allianz Stadium (otherwise known as the Sydney Football Stadium) opened at the end of August, at a cost of $828 million.
A key consideration for the brains behind the build was how to enhance crowd noise. The stadium’s wrap-around design means that sound is largely kept within the arena, with little escaping out into the surrounding areas.
And the anecdotal evidence suggests it’s worked. During The Rugby Championship match between Australia and South Africa — one of the first fixtures to be played at the new stadium — commentators repeatedly praised the venue’s acoustics.
But Sydney’s new landmark would do well to match these five incredibly loud stadiums…
Westfalenstadion — Dortmund, Germany
The 81,3365-capacity home of Borussia Dortmund (which, for commercial purposes, goes by the name of SIGNAL IDUNA PARK) was originally built for the 1974 World Cup. It boasts the largest single-tiered stand in Europe, which, when filled with 25,000 chanting, flag-waving BVB supporters, is known as ‘The Yellow Wall’. Thanks to those fans, their proximity to the pitch, and the roof — which covers 80% of the stands and helps to contain the noise — the atmosphere is widely considered one of the loudest and best in Europe.
Arrowhead Stadium — Kansas City, USA
This NFL arena holds the world record for the all-time loudest sports stadium. Back in September 2014, a deafening noise level of 137.5 decibels was recorded as Kansas City Chiefs fans roared their team to a 41-14 win over the New England Patriots. Given that they didn’t even qualify for the Playoffs that year, it makes you wonder how loud it must get when the team’s actually doing well.
Hampden Park — Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow’s Old Firm derbies aren’t for the faint of heart. The atmosphere is fuelled by years of bitter rivalry between Celtic and Rangers and it gets pretty loud. Back in 2018, sound experts recorded a peak noise of 115 decibels as the two teams met at ‘Gers’ Hampden Park — that’s similar to a jet engine taking off. The home team ended up losing 4-0, so it’s hard to imagine the majority of fans were as vociferous by the time the final whistle was blown.
Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi – Istanbul, Turkey
With a capacity of 52,044, Galatasaray’s Stadium is one of the smaller arenas on this list. But during a match with bitter rivals Fenerbahce in 2011, Gala fans broke what was then a world record, notching up a ground-shaking 131.76 decibels. No wonder they have such a fearsome reputation.
Williams–Brice Stadium — South Carolina, USA
This college football arena has a few architectural quirks that add to the atmosphere, which is consistently voted one of the loudest in America by opposing players.
Known as “The Cock Pit” (it’s the home of the South Carolina Gamecocks), the stadium’s east upper stand sways when fans jump up and down — which normally happens when the marching band play the song “Louie Louie.” After one notable win, a former Gamecocks player said, “If it ain’t swayin’, we ain’t playin'” — a phrase that’s now sold thousands of bumper stickers all over the state.
What’s more, several parts of the stadium have been known to vibrate due to the decibel levels generated during a typical game. Sounds like a great night out — but maybe bring some earplugs!
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