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SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The San Francisco 49ers are hoping the crowd noise at new Levi’s Stadium will surpass that of their northwest rival Seattle Seahawks’ stadium, which has been called the loudest in the league. But it may be airplane noise that is even more disruptive to the flow of the game.
Levi’s Stadium is directly in the flight path of planes taking off from Mineta San Jose International Airport. During the stadium’s ribbon-cutting ceremony last week, it was apparent that planes flying overhead are a fairly common occurrence.
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The 49ers and the city of Santa Clara have said they are working with the Federal Aviation Administration and Mineta San Jose to resolve the noise from airplane traffic. “We are working closely with the San Jose International Airport and the FAA to ensure that we are able to accommodate all that want to come into the Silicon Valley, all the general aviation that are here and of course all of our planes that come into Silicon Valley,” said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews at the
The FAA currently issues temporary flight restrictions over stadiums during sporting events, prohibiting aircraft operations at or below 3,000 feet above ground level within a three-mile radius of the stadium.
But the restrictions don’t apply to commercial jets in touch with an air traffic control tower, such as those in the process of taking off from Mineta San Jose. The FAA said if the planes turn out to be a problem, the 49ers could request a change in flight paths.
However, if one can compare a similar situation in New York, fans can expect noise from planes. Shea Stadium, former home of the New York Mets, was built in the flight path of LaGuardia Airport and was notorious for noise interruptions from planes, even as flight paths were altered to try to alleviate the problem.
Shea’s stadium’s replacement, Citi Field, was built adjacent to Shea and planes are also frequently heard overhead, so much so that players at bat will at times step out of the batter’s box during a game until the noise subsides.
There is no word how the flight restrictions at Mineta San Jose for events at Levi’s Stadium will be altered when weather forces changes to runway approaches.