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Monday, January 26, 2009

Bring on the Noise!

Just like the construction of Camden Yards ushered in a revolutionary era of ballpark design in the 1990s, developing a more intimidating indoor venue could be possible with the rebuilding of Chicago Stadium type arenas. Today’s arenas are met with mausoleum type level crowd noise with artificial sounds being substituted to provide any semblance of atmosphere among NBA and NHL contests. With the Chicago Black Hawks displaying a return to glory with on ice success and high box office turnout this season, the time is right to strike with looking into plans at erecting an arena dedicated to bringing back the noise level of past indoor stadiums. By adopting a more compact design, where the upper decks settle more on top of the lower bowl, the fan noise level can return and actually provide a more exciting/intimidating atmosphere. Black Hawk fans discuss ad nauseum about how the old Chicago Stadium rocked on game nights with the National Anthem continuously being drowned out by hysterical crowd noise. Constructing an arena that provides a seating arrangement that stacks up against the game area while instituting architectural troubleshooting that allow skyboxes (that ownership so desperately covets) to be implored within the master blueprints.
Having a return of indoor sporting venues that bring back memories of Boston Garden or Maple Leaf Gardens would add immense pleasure to moribund fanbases, insight renewed interest among team’s respective sport’s cities, and develop a more big game atmosphere that would improve the television viewing experience. I just see no negative to building an arena of this magnitude for struggling NBA/NHL franchises. All one has to do is look at the incredible amount of college basketball games on late-night television to see the benefit of electric crowds to grab fair-weather viewers. Boisterous crowds catch our attention. It adds to the importance of a sporting contest, not Sir Mix a Lot or some cheesy drum machine. Building old-school barns would be great for indoor professional sports. Chicago itself desperately needs to escape the doldrums of the carnivorous United Center. By moving away from derelict West Chicago and moving more towards the downtown or northside that would allow Chicagoans easier access to the main lines of public transportation, true hockey success can be achieved.
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