While the next NFL season is only days away, it looks very different from previous seasons, and you already know why. The pandemic is still ongoing, especially in the US, and social distancing remains a key way to reduce the spread of the disease. For obvious reasons, crowded stadiums are not an option right now, which means not many people will be cheering.
Depending on the location, NFL games take place in stadiums where either the number of spectators is drastically reduced or in stadiums that are completely empty. Fans will be watching the games at home this year and while it will be a bit strange to see all these empty seats in the background, the league is working to ensure that the overall experience doesn̵
NFL Films is preparing to deliver location-specific audio recordings of cheering fans. The aim is to reproduce the sounds that would be heard if the stadiums were full as usual. The decision to use pre-recorded audio was inspired by the first week of German football, which was completely silent due to the lack of fans.
The experience was drained; The lack of cheer leads the sport from a social gathering and excitement to a sport that feels eerily abandoned and uncomfortable. Audio engineers will be deployed at every NFL game this season to reproduce the sound of a crowded stadium Bloombergand points out the obvious advantages of using stadium-specific recordings.
With different teams represented in each game, the chants and applause heard in the crowd vary and often include things related to the respective teams. It would of course be strange to hear Brown’s fans barking during an Eagles game, for example. So the only options are custom audio or generic audio … and the latter would undoubtedly get old and repetitive quickly.
Meanwhile, fans who play games are also listening to recorded audio to simulate the social experience – and, the report notes, to keep them from overhearing team games.