A Buying Guide for Bleacher Systems

Aluminum bleacher seats

Giving children the opportunity to play recreational sports is a great way to help them develop healthy lifestyles, good teamwork and sportsmanship qualities, and gain coordination and strategy. Surveys show that 75% of parents encourage their children to participate on a sports team, either in school or in a city league.

With 75% of children across America participating in sports, 75% of American children’s parents need a place to sit so they can cheer them on, and maybe yell at the ref for a bad call once or twice. All of the fields, tracks, and courts that accommodate the 35 million children who participate in organized sports every year have some sort of seating system for spectators.

If your league, school, or church is ready to add some sturdy bleachers to your sporting events, you have a wide range of bleacher systems to choose from:

  • Retractable bleachers. Retractable bleachers are permanent fixtures of varying sizes that are installed into the wall of a gym and can be rolled against the wall when your sporting event is over, creating more room for activities.
  • Transportable bleachers. Transportable bleachers are an economical option when your group has multiple venues but only the budget for one set of bleachers. Movable seating systems have added support braces for safety so that they are still sturdy bleachers, despite being put up and taken down and dragged around frequently. Transportable bleachers range in size from three to five rows and vary in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, so they can be purchased on any budget.
  • Low-rise bleachers. Low-rise bleachers are small bleacher systems of four rows or less. To abide by safety codes, low-rise sturdy bleachers must be no higher than 30 inches tall. Each row is six inches lower than the row behind them, with a valley in between for feet to rest. Because of the maximum height of low-rise bleachers, the bottom row sometimes ends up being only 10 to 12 inches off the ground, which is ideal for children, but perhaps not adults.
  • Roll-away bleachers. Roll-away bleachers typically have two to four rows and are a portable bleacher system designed for convenient relocation. Roll-away bleachers are simply collapsed down and shifted to wheels on the side to be moved to a new location. Roll-away bleachers are typically used indoors.

  • Elevated bleachers. Elevated bleachers are used for large sporting events where the players sit sideline, which blocks spectator’s line of sight. As their name alludes, elevated bleachers are elevated several feet above the field, so that all of the fans have a good view. They are permanent fixtures and for safety purposes, bleachers of this magnitude have walkways at the front and handrails throughout.
  • Non-elevated bleachers. Non-elevated bleachers are the most common type of bleacher systems. The seating is usually made of aluminum with a system of steel braces for support throughout. They can be as tall as 20 rows high with any range of width. Unlike low-rise bleachers, standard non-elevated bleachers have a bottom row that is 17 inches off the ground and each following row rises by 8 inches, so that all spectators can easily see the game.

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