Rating of the loudest college basketball arenas for ESPN magazine

Micah Shepherd, Stephen A. Hambric, Neal D. Evans, Daniel J. Domme, Andrew W. Christian, Bryan P. Cranage, Kieran Poulain, Andrew J. Orr, Andrew R. Barnard, Michael D. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A recent ESPN magazine article ("These go to 11," ESPN Magazine 15 Nov 2010) ranked the top collegiate basketball arenas according to "noise potential." The rankings were established by a team of Penn State Acoustics students using the theory for sound build up in large rooms, since actual measurements were infeasible. Both diffuse field and direct field contributions of the sound pressure were estimated at center court for octave band frequencies from 125 Hz to 4 kHz. Seating geometries, materials and other relevant information were collected for each arena and used with estimated absorption coefficients to determine the room constant. The diffuse field contributions were then combined with approximate sources terms based on the seating capacity of the arena, the proximity of the fans to the court and whether they were students. The sound pressures were then combined into a total A-weighted sound pressure level and used to determine the ranking. The direct and reverberant contributions of each arena were then compared to establish the positive and negative aspects of each arena in terms of noise potential. This comparison reveals how Kansas and Duke reached the top of the ranking, despite having drastically different arena geometry and capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number015004
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
StatePublished - 2011
Event161st Meeting Acoustical Society of America 2011 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: May 23 2011May 27 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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