Martin Stadium scoreboard attributes to loud noise during practice and games

PULLMAN, WA - The Pullman City Council held their last full meeting of the year Monday night, and it was complete with some passionate public comments.

Several residents are complaining about noise coming from Martin Stadium. Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains why some people think the new scoreboard is problematic.

Some Pullman residents are complaining that Cougar Football has gotten louder this year, and it's all because of this scoreboard.

"The impact of the stadium on Pullman in general I feel is much more severe than it has been in the past," said Pullman resident Sam Sorem. "I'm not an expert on noise, but I do know that what we hear is much louder than it has been in previous years."

The noise comes from the new high-definition scoreboard that Washington State University installed before their first home football game this year. Pullman City Attorney Laura McAloon told the city council that there've been complaints about the noise during Cougar football practices.

"It was coming from Martin Stadium when the football team was having football practice and they were piping in noise to simulate crowd noise," said McAloon.

"When they play this crowd noise just to simulate a noisy environment, it is louder when played over the PA system than it is in real life," said Sorem. "And I can only liken it to maybe living next to the freeway."

McAloon explained that public sanctioned events, like Cougar Football games, are exempt from the city's noise ordinances.

"The kicker is that it's not public, those practices are not open to the public," said McAloon.

McAloon presented a draft amendment that would make any noise from Martin Stadium between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. exempt from the city's noise ordinance. But a few residents spoke out against that idea.

"I do also caution rapid movement," said Pullman resident Garron Shannon. "Let's take a slower look at this and see what we're really talking about."

Now the council didn't pass any ordinances yet, they decided to table the issue so they can hear more input from the public.

Monday night's council meeting was the last one for long time council member Bill Paul. He was appointed to the council in April 2000.