While Tom Brady has a long list of postseason accolades, he hasn’t been great away from Gillette Stadium. He’s 3-4 in his career playoff games on the road and now he’ll have to go to a notoriously loud stadium in Kansas City.
But Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t too worried about it.
“Look, the hardest thing about playing in Arrowhead is the Chiefs,” Belichick told WEEI this week. “They are a great football team, the top seed in the AFC this year. Obviously, they are very good and playing them anywhere is hard. They are good at home, but they are good everywhere.
“We’re going to have to do a great job competing against the Chiefs and whatever else it is, it is. Crowd noise, there’s nothing we can really do about any of that. What we can control is our performance and our execution and that is what we’re going to focus on.”
So the Patriots aren’t too worried about the crowd noise. But should they be? The stats say they should.
Chiefs fans are the crowd noise record holders
The Guinness Book of World Records says no sports crowd in the world is louder than Chiefs fans at Arrowhead Stadium.
On Sept. 29, 2014 — during a Week 4 game against the New England Patriots — Chiefs fans were recorded at 142.2 decibels. That’s louder than an aircraft carrier deck or a rock concert.
The record was previous held by Seattle Seahawks fans, who were recorded at 137.6 decibels during a 2013 game. And before that it was European soccer fans who held the record when the crowd at a 2011 game in Turkey between Galatasaray SC and Fenerbahce was recorded at 131.76 decibels.
Critics of the record would say that the Chiefs and Seahawks have stadiums that are designed to be loud on the field. Five teams — the Cowboys, Jets, Packers, Giants, and Broncos — averaged more fans per home game than the Chiefs, who had an average attendance of 75,972 in 2018. The Seahawks were down at 15th with 69,001 fans per game.
In the case of CenturyLink Field in Seattle, the stadium’s partial roof reverberates noise back to the field. But Arrowhead Stadium doesn’t have as much structural help. It has a large amount of general bowl seating without many luxury suites — and those luxury boxes aren’t enclosed. So mostly it’s just that the Chiefs have a whole bunch of fans yelling really loudly.
So loud that they’ve been asked by officials to quiet down multiple times. Here’s an example in 1990 when Broncos quarterback John Elway asked the referee to quiet down Chiefs fans.
Remember back in 1990 when Arrowhead Stadium was so loud John Elway had to ask the ref to quiet the crowd? @KyleBrandt goes back in time to remind the @Chiefs to "get their groove back" at home for his #PlayersWereExcitedToSee pic.twitter.com/Wo38W9mblE— GMFB (@gmfb) January 5, 2018
It happened again two years later when Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich couldn’t get a snap off.
9/28/92: Raiders vs Chiefs on Monday Night Football. The Raiders have 3rd & 43 because of a personal foul and a delay of game. Arrowhead gets so loud that Todd Marinovich can’t snap the ball, Elway style. This is an all-timer. pic.twitter.com/mzgfhS1m4f— Chase Snyder (@ChasingSnyder) January 28, 2018
You probably won’t see Bill Belichick or Tom Brady asking the officials to quiet Chiefs fans down Sunday, but one thing is for certain. You can expect Arrowhead Stadium to be rocking.