Feature Article - November 2005
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Handy Solutions to Common Problems

By Stacy St. Clair, Jenny E. Beeh and Kelli Anderson

How To Create Additional Seating

Whether it's a sporting event, concert or graduation, spectators need a place to spectate. Sure, permanent grandstands are, well, just grand, but what do you do when your special event requires more seating for the masses?

Unless you want standing room only (and grumpy guests), your best bet is to consider a portable bleacher system. Often available for rent, lease-to-own or even via shared ownership, these systems have become surprisingly convenient to operate.

Following are four factors to contemplate if you're tempted by investing in temporary seating:


Of course, something may be labeled "portable," but just how manageable is it? Is it a snap to set up and take down or a huge headache and hassle? How many employees does it involve? Can you tow it on the highway between venues or is it tricky to truck around? What are its dimensions (folded and unfolded) and its typical seating capacity?

These are just some of the important questions to keep in mind. In addition, you want to make sure the bleachers are equipped with brake, turn and clearance lights during transport.


When it comes to temporary seating, it's not always a question of where you may need it, but when. Because some special events may dictate a very short window when bleachers and other equipment can be installed, moved or removed, it helps to choose a system that offers a fast turnaround—often in minutes.

Some portable structures sport a hydraulic mechanism powered by a single 12-volt battery for folding and unfolding the bleachers, greatly reducing the manpower necessary for setup. Likewise, the jacks for stabilizing the seating should be easy to operate.

Be sure to find out upfront what kind of care and maintenance a system may require.


Just because a bleacher system is temporary, doesn't mean it may be less sturdy or secure. You just never know when the crowd is gonna go wild.

Make sure that all your seating is not only durable and resilient but obviously meets or exceeds all required safety codes. Such regulations can prescribe the spacing between rows (to prevent children from falling through), weight restrictions or the overall height of the bleachers, to name a few common requirements.

Smart safety components include a central aisle and appropriate hand rails. Other design options, like vertical bars for guardrails, can discourage climbing kids (or rabid fans), hopefully preventing accidents and reducing liability.

And, of course, make sure the bleachers, like any part of your venue, are frequently inspected and well-maintained for optimum safety.


Although bleachers are usually more functional that beautiful, it never hurts to select a model that is simply stylish rather than a rickety eyesore. Not to mention comfortable, accessible and easy to clean. Weather-resistance is also key when it comes to proper outdoor seating. Who wants rusty or slippery bleachers?

Don't forget, any part of your facility reflects on the whole experience.

After all, you want your guests to cheer.

  F O R   M O R E   I N F O R M A T I O N  

Kay Park Recreation Corp. 800-553-2476

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