When it comes to sports fans, every team in every league in the world can probably make some claim as to why its supporters are the greatest.
At Guinness World Records, though, a subjective qualifier like “greatness” does not a record make. But looking for the loudest fans in sports? Now that is something record-worthy.
Over the last 2 months, a number of American sports teams both professional and amateur have taken their cracks at fan-noise records in a competitive renaissance for the category. Here's a round-up of all the action.
First, September saw the Seattle Seahawks break the record for loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium (above), showcasing the notoriously noisy acoustics of CenturyLink Field and vocal fans to register a high reading of 136.6 dbA. They took the spot away from Turkish soccer team Galatasaray, who last set the record in 2011.
Less than one month later, the traditionally raucous Kansas City Chiefs fans of Arrowhead Stadium knocked the Seahawks off their decibel perch, claiming the new record at 137.5 dbA.
The Clemson Tigers then tried to take the record to the college ranks, but fell short both on the field and the record books in a loss to conference rival Florida State.
And now the NBA’s Sacramento Kings have knocked off the nearly 5-year-old record for loudest crowd roar at an indoor sports stadium. In their Nov. 15 game against the Detroit Pistons, Sacramento fans registered a peak reading of 126 dbA.
The common thread for all these attempts?
Seattle’s effort was spearheaded by leading fan group Volume 12. Kansas City took the reins with its marketing department, after sentiment from one of its own local fan groups called for a shot at the record.
"Congratulations to our incredible fans at Arrowhead," Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt told the team's web site after breaking the record. "Not only were they loud, but they knew when to be loud and helped propel their Chiefs to victory."
The Clemson athletics department, meanwhile, took the record attempt as an opportunity to further enhance its place in the national spotlight for a game that was covered in primetime by ABC between the Nos. 3 and 5 teams in the country.
And Sacramento – which faced the threat of losing its Kings franchise to another city in relocation last offseason – gave its fans a chance to show with this attempt that they are still some of the loudest and most supportive in sports, doing so during a nationally televised game.
Coverage of each of the records has run the gamut from local and regional publications to being featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CBSSports.com, ProFootballTalk, and NBA.com.
Where the sports crowd roar records go from here and who might ascend to the throne next is anybody’s guess.
But for as long as players on the field have tried to find out who’s best, the fans in the seats have done the same. Now, they’ve found at least one way to measure it.