Siren blast brings the ruckus back to Colts home games

October 7, 2013
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Most observers would agree that Lucas Oil Stadium trumps the RCA Dome in every category—except perhaps one.

The hardcore Indianapolis Colts fans have complained since LOS opened in 2008, that it is not as loud inside LOS on game days as it was in the old Dome.

One Colts staffer—someone few fans have ever heard of—came up with a smart idea to bring the ruckus back to the Horseshoe Kingdom on Sunday.

There are several reasons, I've been told, why it’s not as loud inside LOS as it was at the RCA Dome. LOS has more suites and club seats than did the RCA Dome, which was demolished to make room for the Indiana Convention Center expansion. Many of those club seats too are front and center. That configuration means two things.

Joe and Sally Sixpack have been pushed farther from the field to make room for Joe and Sally CEO at Lucas Oil Stadium. It seems the corporate types don’t seem to scream as much and as loud as the average fan. The posh field level suites probably haven’t helped either.

There are also more “soft” surfaces in Lucas Oil Stadium than there were in the RCA Dome. Hard surfaces are good for foot stomping and pounding. Those soft surfaces tend to absorb the sound as opposed to the vast quantity of concrete and other hard surfaces which made the Dome an echo making and amplification machine.

The Colts staff had tried everything to ratchet up the noise at Lucas Oil Stadium. The more noise local fans make, the more difficult it is for the visiting team (especially on offense) to communicate with one another. And that often leads to all sorts of chaos for the visiting team.

Some have argued that the Colts lost part of their home field edge moving from the Dome to LOS.

But on Sunday, that all changed. Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward, who has been with the team since its Baltimore days, said Sunday was the loudest game he could recall in a long time. Many in attendance agreed. Even reporters in the press box high above the field noticed the noise. And the press box sits behind a thick (at times almost sound-proof) glass barrier.

Colts production staffer Derek Wolfe came up with a brilliant idea that transformed LOS into what the RCA Dome once was—one of the loudest NFL venues. The excitement produced by the Colts come-from-behind victory over Seattle on Sunday didn’t hurt either.

But the crowd noise definitely went up a few notches when Colts staffers sounded off a siren so loud that it sent many in the press room running for cover. Ward said Wolfe had theorized that not only would the siren make a loud noise itself, but that it would supercharge the Colts' fan base. Wolfe proved to be right.

“It was the first time we’ve used [the siren],” Ward explained. “And we’ve tried just about everything!”

The late fourth quarter action, fueled by the blasting siren, took the noise level to heights not seen at a Colts game in six years.

“Our 12th man was pumped from the beginning yesterday,” Ward said, “and that final defensive stand was the loudest I have heard it [inside Lucas Oil Stadium].”
 

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  • Loud
    It would seem to me that LOS could install mic's above the seating areas to allow for more of the fan noise to be heard over the speakers.
  • Brilliant
    I think that Wolfe is a genius to come up with that ideal. Just goes to show how smart Ersay is to surround himself with people of creativity. GO COLTS!!!
  • Sounds like....
    Sounds like the colts like to pump in noise, thru the speakers not real fans screaming....
  • Piped noise & Spell check
    The NFL prohibits amplification of crowd noise, though some conspiracy theorists contend it happens at some venues. And BTW, it's "Irsay".
    • Raucous
      At the game as always. Crowd was one of the best in LOS for sure. I'm sure Chief thinks the softer crowd noise at LOS VS RCA Dome is somehow caused by the Hulman George family
    • Loyal Fan
      Thank you Indy Fan be being such a LOYAL FAN!
    • Siren-In, Gong-Out
      Okay, now let's get rid of that stupid gong!!!
    • Siren??
      I was at the game on Sunday. What makes the crowd loud is the excitement of the game. I have no idea what this "siren" thing is we're talking about here. Put a good team on the field, have an exciting game, and the crowd will get into it . . . it's really that simple.
    • Not so simple
      If you've been to a Pacers game recently, you know it's not that simple. If game producers don't create the right atmosphere, some times the crowd can be dead no matter how good the game is. In subtle ways, in some ways fans don't even realize, the people that handle sound and other special affects, can have a big impact on the game environment, the enjoyment for fans and in some instances, I believe the outcome of the game.
    • Handout
      Sounds like Irsay and the privately owned corporate welfare state known as the Colts need to go back to the city for yet another taxpayer handout, this time for noise.
    • Love Siren - Country Music Not so Much
      LOVED the siren. The crowd was amped and (yes) it was because of the product / team on the field. Only complaint - let's lose some of the country music (Skynard? - Really?) and (re)balance it with rock.
    • Pay raise for the siren guy
      1. Siren is a great idea...why stop there, mix it up a little...submarine diving horn!! 2. The gong has got to go, as well as all the other corny stadium songs....so 80's....be unique, we're on national tv. 3. Get someone on the jumbotron to get people off their seats in the first quarter, not the fourth... 4. if you want crowd excitement, just take notes from a college football game...
    • Music 80's
      Look at who buys season tix. We're Boomers, and that's our music. AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" is where the chime comes from. And Lynrd Skynrd has always been rock music, not country. It's "southern rock", like .38 Special, Doobie Bros., etc. But definitely rock.
    • BTO
      I agree Thundermutt. A nice selection of music across all generations is fine but Sunday as the clock ran down nothin' would have been better than a little Takin' Care of Business
    • Himalaya Siren!
      The noise was great Sunday. It hadn't been that loud since games at the Dome. I'm embarrased to recognize this, but the siren reminded me of the Himalaya ride at 4H Fairs as a kid. I recognized it instantly and found it to be very unique and best of all, it worked!
    • Drive us deaf!
      Continue the good play and we don"t need the siren! We all lose our hearing to early as is!!
    • Look around
      Look around the NFL, the loudest fields are in true fan bases, the Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Seattle types, and most of which are in open air stadiums! The colts need a siren to compete with their atmospheres? Under a roof!? It's going to take more than a siren to overcome the wussification of colts fans cause by years of Peyton tell then to quite down.
    • "True" Fan Base??
      Wannabes . . . "true fan base" and NFL towns like Kansas City and Seattle fall in your definition but not Indianapolis?? If you're not a fan of Indy, then just disengage from the conversation. Better to stay quiet and have someone THINK you're an idiot than open your keyboard and prove it, right?
    • Wolfe/fox?
      Great idea Wolfe!!! What does the fox say!?!
    • Purdue Engineers?
      Where are my Purdue engineer alumni on this? This is a science problem. Must be some sort of clever convex shapes that could be created to focus noise I would think. (Rose Hulman, IU, Butler, all schools with science and sound backgrounds, got to be something more than a siren and a gong).

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