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Bleachers 101



Are you looking to add bleachers to your sporting facility? You might be surprised to learn that there is more than one type of bleacher available. Bleachers come in many different types and sizes, so you'll have to understand what your needs are before choosing the best spectator seating.

Below is more information on bleachers, as well as tips on how to choose the best seating for spectators and players.

Different Types of Bleachers

There are a variety of bleachers to pick from, so it's important to ask your equipment supplier about the options they carry. Cunningham Recreation has a wide variety of grandstands, press boxes, team benches and bleachers that will accommodate players and spectators.

Here are the main types of bleachers you'll have to choose from:

  • Elevated bleachers. These permanent, long-term bleachers are great for big crowds. They feature tiered seating, walkways, stairs and rails. Made from aluminum, elevated bleachers are durable and steady.
  • Low-rise bleachers. Aluminum low-rise bleachers have wider benches. However, they do not go as high as elevated bleachers and are better suited for smaller venues.
  • Transportable bleachers. Moveable bleachers can be used on-demand and set up alongside permanent bleachers. Use them for special events, or keep them on hand when overflow seating is required.
  • Tip and roll bleachers. These bleachers are good for those who need flexibility. Tip and roll bleachers are not permanent - they can be moved from location to location for tournaments, special events and more.

Seating Capacity

The average individual takes up about 18 inches of space. To determine how many people a bleacher can hold, take the length of the unit and divide it by 18 inches. Then, multiply the answer by the number of rows in the bleacher to get the gross seating capacity. Also consider the space used for aisles and handicap requirements, as this will take away from some of the available seating space.

Size and Surface of Installation

Carefully measure where you are going to install the bleachers. You want to make sure that there's enough space for the structure, and for people to freely enter and exit the bleachers. In order to ensure good visibility, you may have limited options for installation.

Another consideration is the surface for installation. Certain surfaces work better than others. We recommend a solid level surface, such as a concrete slab with some anchoring to meet wind loads. If you don't have this available, at least choose a level surface that allows for some type of anchoring.

Compliance Issues

Finally, make sure that the bleachers you plan to buy meet your city's codes and regulations. These regulations make bleachers as safe as possible through proper guardrails, height spacing, aisle location and more. If the seating does not meet these regulations, you will have to take it down. You can find this information in the International Building Code (IBC) for your particular state.

Ready to add bleachers to your sporting facility? Contact Cunningham Recreation to discuss your options for spectator and player seating that is durable, functional and attractive.