MLB to Use Crowd Noise from MLB The Show for Fanless Games During Pandemic

A foul ball rests in empty stands during Kansas City Royals' baseball practice at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday, July 9, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Baseball fans who play plenty of MLB: The Show will hear some familiar sounds when the season begins later this month.

With fans prohibited from attending games, Major League Baseball will give stadium sound engineers access to about 75 sound effects from the video game to pump into contests. 

The crowd noises—cheers, groans, boos and all—were recorded during real games over multiple seasons by San Diego Studios.

Some teams have already begun experimenting with the noise during intrasquad games.

“There was some reticence when you first talk about crowd noise in an empty ballpark because you don’t want to do something that is distracting,” MLB executive vice president for strategy, technology and innovation Chris Marinak told the Associated Press. “It is heard in a way that is natural with the play of the game and on field. The sounds do match what is happening.”

Additionally, stadiums will continue to use public address announcers, walk-up music for batters and in-stadium video boards in an attempt to keep the feel of the games as normal as possible. 

While some stadiums could allow fans in the stands at some point this season, teams will first have to comply with local, state and federal social distancing guidelines before they can begin selling tickets. 

While it may seem a bit odd at first, Milwaukee Brewers infielder Eric Sogard told the AP not having any noise at all is much worse.

“You’re still focused on the game, but that noise is very helpful. I could tell the first few scrimmages with pure silence was tough for some guys,” Sogard said. “You could hear the other dugout talking, and it was kind of awkward.”