Study says soccer stadium noise could impact Music Hall

CINCINNATI (AP) — A study has found that game day noise from the coming stadium for Cincinnati’s soccer team could disrupt performances and rehearsals at a nearby hall where several arts groups perform.

Noise from FC Cincinnati games would be “readily audible” by members of the audience and performers in Music Hall’s Springer Auditorium, according to the recently released report by the consulting firm Akustiks.

The Cincinnati Arts Association, which operates Music Hall, commissioned the study. Resident companies at Music Hall include the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet, Opera and the May Festival.

To conduct the study, Akustiks simulated noise levels for a soccer match with a stadium of 26,000 fans and an amplified music concert.

“Crowd noise by itself can be loud enough to cause intrusion in the house and on stage,” the study said.

The report named numerous aspects in Music Hall’s construction for the noise intrusion, such as its lightweight roof and openings in the auditorium for lighting. It also said sound barriers listed in the stadium construction plan would not reduce noise as intended.

The report said exterior portions of the stadium intended to reduce sound will be made of such lightweight materials that they are “essentially ineffective.”

Team President and General Manager Jeff Berding has argued in a statement that there haven’t been noise complaints about soccer games played at University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium, which is near the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Berding said he has “never received a single call or complaint” from anyone from the university or the conservatory regarding noise disruption from games at Nippert Stadium.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Akustiks said in a response to Berding’s statement that comparing the conservatory to Music Hall “is comparing apples and oranges.”

The conservatory was renovated after Nippert underwent an expansion in 1992, allowing for architects to plan sound buffering.

Music Hall’s recent renovation was planned in 2015, before FC Cincinnati considered the area for a stadium.

Akustiks is expected to release its final report before the end of the month.

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