Problem Solver - August 2007
Find a printable version here

Providing Temporary Event Seating

We host a variety of events at our facility and often need more seating than we have on hand.

From school sporting events to youth sports in the parks, from special festivals to parades and park-run concerts, there is often a need to provide temporary seating for your patrons. While some facilities rely on patrons to bring their own lawn chairs along, they'll be much happier if you go the extra mile to make sure there's seating available for them. Especially at events where everyone wants a view, providing bleacher seating is important.

But don't waste time and effort—and even potential injuries—trying to move traditional bleachers. To make it easy on yourself and your staff, and at the same time ensure that there's plenty of seating room for all your patrons, look into purchasing temporary seating units. You can find transportable bleachers on the market today that will offer more seating when and where you need it and won't take up space when you don't.

Be careful when shopping around for a system that you consider all aspects. Some are portable, but they require a whole lot of work and several people to actually move. Find out how the unit can be transported—truck or tow—how it folds up and how much space it takes up when folded. Plus, how fast does it unfold? Some take a while; others take a matter of minutes, which could be crucial if you're setting up for an event back-to-back with another or when you simply are crunched for time. Once they're up, the units should provide strong, easily operated jacks to stabilize the bleachers.

One available option is a highway-towable portable bleacher that comes with push-button operation and folds with a hydraulic mechanism that's powered by a 12-volt system, allowing just one person the ability to set it up in only 10 minutes. This unit has a simple design that allows you to move it around town for parades and viewing stands, making it an effective solution for municipalities. Or use it for sporting events when your everyday seating isn't quite enough. These bleachers also feature electric brakes, as well as stop, turn and clearance lights.

As people move around on the bleachers, it's important that their safety isn't compromised. Of course, be sure your selection meets all relevant codes. Plus, it's up to you to maintain the bleachers and be sure they go through safety checks, but starting out with solid construction helps. With a portable unit, you might expect a flimsier construction, but you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that people are protected with elements like patented vertical guardrails that discourage acrobatic maneuvers from kids (and adults). Injuries are reduced, thus reducing your risk of liability.

Now that you've learned that there are plenty of options to fulfill your temporary need for seating, you can think about what it'll look like. They do actually come in different styles, so look for one you like and then keep it looking good by keeping it clean and in perfect working order. You might think that your budget won't cover the cost of one of these systems, but if you do a little research, you'll quickly find out that there are companies that offer lease-to-own or even shared ownership programs, so there's always a way to fit it into your budget.

Kay Park Recreation: