In an age where stadium noise can influence the outcome of games, the Atlanta Falcons have been caught trying to increase it artificially.
The Atlanta Falcons have been fined $350,000 and forfeited a 2016 draft pick for pumping artificial crowd noise into their stadium.
According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, the Falcons will lose a 5th-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter added that Falcons CEO Rich McKay has also been suspended from the NFL Competition Committee from April 1st until June 30th at the earliest.
Falcons lose a fifth-round draft pick and fined $350,000
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 30, 2015
Rich McKay will be suspended from Competition Committee beginning April 1. He may petition for reinstatement no sooner than June 30. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 30, 2015
Rich McKay wasn’t aware of fake crowd noise, NFL determined. But he oversees game-day ops. He’s suspended from comp 4/1. Can reapply on 6/30
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 30, 2015
The Falcons had been accused of using the speakers inside the Georgia Dome to artificially increase crowd noise during games – a blatant violation of NFL rules which prohibit the practice.
Teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs have found incredible success in recent years with record-setting levels of crowd noise in the stadium. The noise at those two stadiums – which have led to winning records in the two respective cities – have encouraged other teams to find ways to increase the volume at their stadiums as well.
In 2012, the Falcons went 7-1 at home en route to a 13-3 overall record and the No. 1 overall seed in the 2012 playoffs. The Falcons would go on to beat the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional round before losing in the NFC Championship Game to the San Francisco 49ers. The following season though, the team fell off a cliff, going 4-12 and winning just 3 games at home.