Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

How far Grand Prix's buzz pushes noise meter

ST. PETERSBURG — Just how loud are those open wheel racers when they're zooming around at high speeds? Practice runs began Friday at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg's track, and we took a decibel meter downtown to find out.

At the corner of First Avenue N and First Street N, noise hit about 83 decibels. That's as loud as average city traffic, according to the American Tinnitus Association.

Around the corner at Ceviche, though, the roar really picked up. We clocked it at 104 decibels, somewhere between the level of a subway train and that of a chain saw.

A crowd gathered near the fence there, and when Kyle Feller jumped off his bike a few yards from them, he was smiling. He had tickets for the day, and the sound drew him in. He could hear the buzz from his home at Ninth Avenue N and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N.

"It's pretty loud," Feller, 20, acknowledged.

Under the track's fan entrance, near First Avenue S and First Street SE, our meter read 97 decibels. That's a little quieter than a blow dryer and a little louder than an MRI scan.

"I don't know how we're gonna do this today," Delta Construction Partners secretary Marcy Wainwright said as she struggled to answer phones around the corner just after 8 a.m. Wainwright's office is on Beach Drive NE. "It's loud," she said. "It's trying."

Workers were taking calls in more sheltered parts of the building and the office dog, a Lhasa apso named Rocco, had not been himself all morning, she said.

At Lucky Dill Deli on Central Avenue, the zoom was audible, hovering somewhere between the noise of a washing machine and that of an alarm clock positioned 2 feet from your head.

But it wasn't bothering Joe Peppard, 47, and his wife, Sheila, 43. "A cement truck just went by that was three times louder than that," Joe said. Both said they were excited when the sound woke them up. They live about 2 miles north of the track, on Bayshore Drive. They even considered pulling their children out of school Friday to watch.

Though the sound never seemed to reach the level of a screaming child (110 decibels) or a jackhammer (130 decibels), it was enough to get them energized.

"I like the smell of burned tire that goes with the noise," Sheila said.

But truly troublesome noise didn't seem to radiate too far. Outside the Vinoy Renaissance Resort, it registered about 84 decibels — a bit loud for the front of a luxury hotel, but still quieter than normal traffic noise. Noise levels at Tropicana Field, around 60 decibels, were barely louder than a sewing machine.

Claire Wiseman can be reached at cwiseman@tampabay.com or (727)-893-8804. Follow @clairelwiseman on Twitter.

How far Grand Prix's buzz pushes noise meter 03/28/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2014 9:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season

    Footballpreps

    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before the big rivalry game against Newsome on Friday night.
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Several key players still sidelined

    Bucs

    Greg Auman gives an injury update, with several key players still sidelined from practice three days before the Bucs play the Cleveland Browns in Tampa, and a full recap of your favorite scenes from Tuesday …

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans was held out of practice Wednesday at One Buc Place. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  3. Playoff ambitions evident in opener for Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch

    Footballpreps

    WESLEY CHAPEL — A new football season in Pasco County begins Friday night, but this one promises to be like none before it — with more math than ever. A new playoff system emphasizes schedule strength, making non-district tilts particularly important.

    Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  4. Dirk Koetter says Bucs used team meeting to discuss social issues

    Bucs

    During a 20-minute team meeting Tuesday, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter decided to turn the discussion to social issues and whether players are expected to stand for the national anthem.

    "The main thing is we have to respect everybody's opinion," Dirk Koetter said, "because everybody is not going to agree." [AP photo]
  5. Rookie tight end Antony Auclair making case to stick with Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't let his modest preseason stats fool you: Antony Auclair, the undrafted rookie tight end from Canada is making a strong case to stick around on the Bucs' 53-man roster this season.

    Bucs tight end Antony Auclair (82) collides with a defender following a catch during training camp. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]