One of the first things Joe Buck commented on at the start of the NFC Divisional Game between the New Orleans Saints and the hometown Minnesota Vikings was in reference to how loud it was inside US Bank Stadium. And I don't think I'm alone when I say I loved it.
The newly constructed venue and site of this year's Super Bowl is an architectural marvel. Reflecting the image, personality and in a very literal sense, due to the abundance of windows, the light of the Twin Cities. Noise was a factor throughout the game going from deafeningly loud when the Saints had the ball to almost eerily quiet when the Vikings took possession.
But no change in sound was more noticeable than at the exact moment when Stefon Diggs came down with the ball on what would be the final play of the game only to find himself beyond the reach of any defender with a clear path to the end zone. I think everyone in the world watching that game went from thinking "get out of bounds" to "RUUUUUUNNNNN!" in less than a second.
And thats when it happened. This moment. This noticeable spike in the crowd noise. It happens around the :11 mark. This isn't a remarkable observation. It's fairly obvious. But what isn't as obvious is the fact that the noise level captured by the camera on that side of the field (the home team side) was, according to the information provided by the designers of US Bank Stadium, lower than what the noise level was on the other side of the field (away).
Why was the noise level different you ask? Apparently the designers at HKS Architects didn't plan it this way but it was an inadvertent result of the shape of the design as well as a special material called Texlon ETFE which is popular in construction on buildings in cold weather climates. It should be noted that HKS is the same design firm who brought us LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis, AT&T in Dallas, as well as, the new Rams facility in Los Angeles,
Now, I'm in no way saying that this sound issue played any part in the outcome of the game but it is surprising that the NFL, the other owners, the designers, the opposing teams and the opposing fans haven't made an issue of this.
Fortunately for every fan rooting for the Vikings the sound inside the stadium will always be a part of the Minnesota Miracle. My only thought was, imagine how loud it was on the other side of the field?