Aluminum Bleachers Primer
What exactly are bleachers? “Bleachers” is the common word used to describe the raised, tiered stands found flanking amateur public and private sports fields or at other outdoor event venues. Bleachers are long rows of plank bench seating, typically designed in an alternating steps-and-seats configuration. They range in size from small, modular, aluminum stands that can be moved around football, soccer, field hockey, or softball/baseball fields (so-called tip-n-roll bleachers) to large permanent structures that flank either side of a high school athletic field. They typically represent a permanent seating solution that is fixed in place, anchored and not moved.
Bleachers are hollow underneath, aside from their support structures. Indoor gymnasium bleachers are usually attached to the walls on either side of a playing court and slide on a track or on wheels to retract when not in use, and extend for event seating. These are often called telescopic bleachers or telescoping bleachers. Traditionally, telescopic bleacher seats have been made of wood, but more recently, technology advancements have caused a change in design and material to eliminate the chronic problem of bleacher sag which, over time, prohibits older systems from retracting and being stored away. Molded plastic seats and an aluminum frame are the preferred materials for telescopic/telescoping retractable bleachers today.
Aluminum Bleachers generally fit into one of four categories: permanent/stationary, portable/movable, telescopic/folding, and temporary. Temporary aluminum bleachers are typically stored in pieces and are intended for use only during specific events, such as circuses, golf tournaments, and parades.
Whether installed for long-term or portable use, a bleacher is commonly made of aluminum or steel. Portable aluminum bleachers generally have added features like casters and rubber footpads that prevent them from damaging the floor as they are moved. There are also elevated and tiered bleachers, as well as straight bleacher benches. Sometimes bleachers are colorfully painted for an added touch of team spirit. But at their most basic, bleachers are designed for durability in outdoor as well as indoor settings; they are economic yet comfortable, made to withstand the normal wear and tear that often erupts from excited crowds.