Baseball is officially back, Dodgers fans, but not without some changes.
The 2020 season will look much different this time around, with perhaps the biggest change being the lack of an audience. Sports are heavily reliant on fan interactions, and for good reason. The roar of a stadium on a walk-off home run, the incessant boo’s that rain down upon the visiting team… A good crowd can change the feel of a game, and Dodgers Stadium is as good as it gets.
So with baseball stadiums slated to be empty around the country for the next few months, how do teams address the lack of crowd noise? Many individuals have suggested the use of artificial crowd noise to cut out the awkward silence, an idea that has been implemented in other countries and other leagues.
This topic was brought up by Dodgers insider David Vassegh on Wednesday’s episode of “Dodger Talk” on AM 570, as he and guest Andre Ethier discussed how it might impact the viewing experience for fans. As far as David is concerned, he believes this is exactly what many(if not all) teams will do to try and improve the overall product.
‘i believe that’s a route that a lot of teams are going to go to… so that is gonna make the tv and radio listener and viewer experience a lot better.”
Vassegh also reported that the Dodgers were apparently already testing out the fake crowd noises over their sound system at the ballpark on Wednesday afternoon during informal workouts. We received a bit of a preview of how this would sound thanks to Dodgers pitcher, Alex Wood.
Take a look at this short clip he posted late last night from the first official day of Summer Camp and try to catch it.
My favorite kind of social distancing. pic.twitter.com/V3GdNoJIGE
— Alex Wood (@Awood45) July 2, 2020
Justin Turner also took to social media to show fans what the new experience would be like, showcasing how they would be able to manipulate the noise to fit the action.
That sound is a bit eery when looking at an empty stadium, but the noise could definitely help the players feel more comfortable with their situation.
Ethier also gave his take on how the noise could impact hitters, and he sees at least one basic benefit from it.
“yes it’ll add to [the atmosphere], when you make a great play or something happens and they pipe in the artificial crowd noise. you’ll get that instant rush of feelings that you get when you make plays like that.”
Baseball is so reliant on the home crowd that it may be one of the biggest home-field advantages in all of sports. While artificial noise may not equate to 56,000 strong at Dodgers Stadium, any sense of normalcy will help make the overall product easier to take in and hopefully help the players feel most comfortable.
What are your thoughts on teams using artificial crowd noise during the 2020 season? Let us know in the comments below!