10 May 2019

Tips For Properly Planning Your New Aluminum Bleachers (And One Example On How Not To)

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aluminum bleachers

Soccer stadium required to add more seating knocks out wall and extends bleachers outside the building.

Avoid costly repairs, damaged reputation, and loss of goodwill by taking the time to properly plan the installation of new aluminum bleachers so that spectators can enjoy any event from a safe and well-organized seating environment.

(And you certainly don’t want to be the talk of the town for doing it wrong, which will we illustrate later on in this article).

Whether it’s a professional stadium, a state or local park, or a college, high school, community or youth sports complex, spectator seating is a valuable asset.

The way you provide a place to watch and enjoy any events taking place on the field reflects on your organization.

But improper or poorly planned seating can turn that valuable asset into an investment gone bad, tarnishing both the image and perception of the venue itself.

This may also cause those who might want to use your venue for their events to hesitate and even possibly look elsewhere.

Anywhere with a basic need for focused seating within an event space has a need for quality made and installed aluminum bleachers.

Aluminum bleachers are a common sight and an expectation at outdoor venues like public parks, sports venues, school sports complexes, golf courses, and playgrounds.

But they are also a must at various indoor events and facilities like competition swim meets, basketball and volleyball courts, auditorium events and large gathering halls.

For events that are non-repetitive or stand-alone scheduled events, temporary or portable aluminum bleachers are an ideal solution.

Temporary or portable bleachers are perfect for use at parades, outdoor celebrations, holiday gatherings, fairs, community happenings, or major public announcements as a one-time seating solution for everyone that wants to be in attendance.

Proper planning required as Aluminum Bleachers continue to grow

The demand for aluminum bleacher seating continues to grow and be in demand, according to annual State of The Industry reports by Recreational Management magazine.

These reports, generated from facility managers, regularly list quality aluminum bleacher seating as a top planned and preferred amenity in facility wishlists, budget requests, and overall improvement plans.

Answering several basic questions will impact the decision as to the type, amount, and style of aluminum bleachers needed to best fit your unique situation.

When planning for your aluminum bleacher needs, you need to know:

  • What is the amount of space you have available for bleacher seating?
  • Will your bleachers will be used indoors or outside?
  • Will you offer concession stands and full or portable restroom facilities?
  • Will the space be shared by different groups with unique functions and needs? The type of facility that the bleachers will be installed in and serve, such as sports complex, community gathering space, recreation complex, or a generic, multi-use space able to be used for a variety of events on an as needed basis will give answers as to what type of seating configuration will be best for your needs.
  • What do you need to do to make sure these bleachers are a safe, secure area for game-crazy, cheering, rowdy fans and spectators? Do you need stairways? Aisles? Railings?
  • What type of base structure will the bleachers be installed on? Depending on if it’s indoor flooring or outdoors on ground or a concrete pad, solid foundations or on uneven ground space, proper installation will require different methods.
  • Will the aluminum bleachers be installed in a popular public area, school district or growing neighborhood that expects a projected population increase or student enrollment in the future? This factors into the number of aluminum bleachers you may need to install.
  • Is the facility projected to be a central location or hub for local, district and regional competitions, tournaments and playoffs? This increases the need for occasional seating, whether it’s installed, temporary or portable.
  • Is the community around the facility regularly involved and present at local events? If they are, then it’s a wise decision to add the additional aluminum bleacher seats up front to satisfy the expected demand.

Seating-specific questions to consider

Once the overall use questions are answered, it’s time to break your situation down even more by answering seating specific questions:

  • What is your preferred seating capacity, based on prior statistics and future projections?
  • Where would YOU want spectators to sit for best sightlines, traffic patterns, and uncongested traffic flow towards other amenity use, such as restrooms, concessions and entrance/exit patterns?
  • What type of egress will your aluminum bleachers need? Will they be directing traffic back onto the field, or perhaps a rear egress directing traffic out to the exits?
  • Is your facility better served by standard or raised aluminum bleacher structures based on the types of events and competitions that will be held there? Sightlines are important, and choices include side setback, rise and run or front elevation.
  • Do you want closed deck bleachers or semi-closed? A closed deck can make cleanup easier by keeping all debris above the bleachers, while open or semi-closed decking may allow debris and litter to fall through to the ground beneath the structure.
  • If you decide to install press boxes or media platforms, there will be some seating that will be taken away to make room for those amenities. Make sure to factor that into your total seating needs versus seating installation.
  • You must address your ADA needs, considering all the different scenarios and corresponding ADA amenities needed to comply with national, state and local codes and laws.
  • How do you want to handle single, enhanced attendance situations? Will you have room for temporary or portable bleachers to be set up to handle the overflow crowds?
  • Will your facility need additional shade structures, concession areas with picnic table seating, recycling, and waste containers, or playground areas? These all will take space that may cut into the available bleacher seating space.
  • Do you want different levels of seating, meaning some bleacher seating will have arm and backrests? Will areas have stadium chairs? VIP or alumni areas? How will that affect your available space and sightline plans?

Importance of details and how things can go wrong

Because planning is critical to installing the correct type and amount of aluminum bleacher seating, it’s critical to gather as many details as possible in order to make choices with your aluminum bleacher investment.

Because sometimes, seating plans go awry.

A prime example of showed up at the most recent World Cup championship held last year in Russia.

The world witnessed some beautiful stadiums during these premier soccer matches, but one stood out for all the wrong reasons. The Yekaterinburg stadium

was not planned properly from the beginning, not even meeting FIFA’s minimum standards for seating capacity.

That being the case, they needed a way to increase seating post-construction but had no alternate plans in place, and no additional available space to add any more bleachers.

This lack of detail checking, planning and foresight led to the engineering nightmare of literally opening up the exterior wall of this circular stadium so that a sharply angled grandstand structure could be installed like a fold-out murphy bed alongside the exterior wall.

Which led to very odd-looking seating arrangements and architecture.

The change in design increased the number of available seats. But they were on the outside of the stadium, looking in.

The result was a very steep outdoor bleacher structure that allows the spectators to view the action on the field through a cutout in the exterior wall of the arena, a situation that was compared to watching a soccer match on a very large television screen.

Poor planning with a disregard for details led to a disaster in available spectator seating for this venue, and a little embarrassment on a global stage.

Research, planning, and contracting a quality, code compliant company to help you plan your aluminum bleachers will ensure that you get the maximum and best use out of your new or updated bleacher seating plans…without ending up with a seating eyesore.

Call the Bleacher Experts at AluminmBleachers.com to do it right. Since 2001, we have supplied sports bleachers to schools, colleges, universities, sports leagues, fairgrounds, gyms and other venues. We have a large selection of standard bleachers for sale, or we can create custom layouts to meet your particular specifications.

Written by Gerald Dlubala






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