The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Is Rice-Eccles Stadium too loud?

Karen McCauley equates living near the U to living next door to an airstrip.

Sporting events at the U’s Rice-Eccles Stadium are so loud, she said, that she often feels like jets are flying over her Federal Heights neighborhood-about two blocks north of campus.

And McCauley is not alone.

A handful of angry neighbors have made complaints about the volume of events at the stadium, particularly Real Salt Lake soccer games.

“Its very frustrating to move into a nice neighborhood and realize you have to deal with the noise from the stadium,” McCauley said.

Upset residents originally took their complaints to U administrators during last fall’s football season and, after talks, the U agreed to test the decibel level of the stadium during a game. Though administrators said they found the sound was within legal limits, they agreed to lower it to a more acceptable level.

But the challenge for most neighbors isn’t football games; it’s Real Salt Lake soccer.

McCauley said RSL games seem to be much louder and have become more irritating because they are sometimes played late at night during the week and span a longer season-from mid-spring to late October.

U administrators said they plan to monitor RSL’s first night game in a few weeks to make sure the team, which leases the stadium from the U, is not exceeding the legal sound limit.

Norm Chambers, a U administrator who oversees the stadium, said the U recognizes that some game announcements have been too loud and has been careful to check sound levels more often.

“We just try to have our people keep a closer ear?to make sure (the noise) doesn’t get out of hand,” he said. “We’re trying to be a good neighbor.”

For some neighbors, the noise isn’t a problem.

Complaints about the loud games were submitted to the Greater Avenues Community Council last year, but the council decided not to take action.

“(The noise is) part of living near the university,” said Michael Hughes, chairman of the council.

He said most of the council’s members, even those from the lower Avenues and Federal Heights, felt it was a non-issue and directed residents to take their displeasure to the U itself.

McCauley, however, said noisy games hurt the quality of life in her neighborhood. She said the noise makes it difficult for her young children to get to bed on time and makes hosting a backyard barbeque or get-together difficult.

She said her family moved to the area from California and bought their house in the upscale neighborhood without knowing how loud the stadium can be.

“We came (to Utah) to have a more quiet life,” McCauley said.

Trevor Dopp

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