The Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study on hearing damage at NHL hockey games. In particular, the study focused on three games in the final series between the Oilers and the Hurricanes.
Bill Hodgetts was the lead researcher and his team measured average sound levels at the hockey game of 104 decibels. At times, the levels exceed 120 decibels.
I guess it is time to wear hearing protection when you go to a hockey game.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides guidelines to protect against potential hearing damage. Limit exposure to 1 hour or less at 105 dB SPL.
Hockey games run about 3 hours.