Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers officially opening Summer Camp at Dodger Stadium earlier this month, Justin Turner and Alex Wood experimented with piped-in crowd noise during a workout.
It was used during an at-bat that Turner ended with a home run, and while Wood threw live batting practice. The players were testing out the feel of replicating applause and sounds that come from having fans in the stands.
That of course is not going to be feasible when the Dodgers take the field July 23 for their Opening Day matchup with the San Francisco Giants. The organization hopes to have fans in attendance at some point during the 2020 season, but team president and CEO Stan Kasten indicated the possibility is not yet on the radar.
To make up for the deafening silence that’s been present during intrasquad games, the Dodgers are among the many teams planning to hold games with artificial crowd noise.
“As I understand it, we haven’t settled on the company, but I think in the next couple days we’ll have something that should be what we use the rest of the season,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I do want our guys to see what it feels like, or hear what it feels like, before we get to real games.”
The Dodgers have three intrasquad games tentatively scheduled, which are to be followed by three exhibition games. They open the season with four contests against the Giants, then embark on a nine-game road trip.
Dodgers players on board with artificial noise
Turner was among the more vocal proponents of having piped-in sound after watching the KBO experiment with it and even more so after hearing how it would sound at Dodger Stadium, even if it doesn’t offset not having fans present.
“I’ll start off by saying nothing is going to replace our fans. We have the best fans in baseball. You can’t emulate 56,000 people here jazzed up for Dodger baseball,” he said.
“But speaking to the crowd noise, it’s way better than having nothing in the stadium and just silence. I enjoyed it. It gave me a little bit of adrenaline just having that noise and random cheers. Hopefully it’s something that we have and most stadiums have. Hopefully everything moves in a direction where we can safely return to fans being able to watch us play again.”
Corey Seager campaigned for it in part because of competitive reasons. “The silent games are tough. It’s hard to communicate with your teammates,” he noted.
“It’s hard to communicate without people hearing, so a little bit of background noise definitely goes a long way with trying to game plan and talk through some stuff without people overhearing.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!