5 Reasons to Buy New High School Bleachers

When school bleachers are cared for properly, they can last many years. As long as preventative maintenance remains a priority, some schools may see bleachers — especially aluminum bleachers —  last up to 30 years or longer. If you’re in the market for new school bleachers or you’re still trying to gauge whether it’s the right time to buy, you’ve come to the right place. This article will walk you through the top 5 reasons why people are buying new school bleachers along with several helpful tips if you’re looking for more cost effective improvement options. 

Reason 1: Bleachers are Falling Apart

Bleachers that are broken or in need of repair may have structural damage that could potentially pose a hazard to spectators. Qualified engineers, architects, or the bleacher manufacturer can help perform maintenance checks at least once a year to assess whether your bleachers are still up to code and safe to use. If your school bleachers are showing visible signs of structural damage, it may be time to replace them. A combination of the signs below might indicate its time for new school bleachers. 

Broken Planks

Bleacher planks that are cracked, damaged or loose can pose a potential risk to spectators. For wooden bleachers, sharp edges from damaged seats could result in painful splinters or other unpredicted hazards. Weak or broken planks can be caused by anything from weather impact to rowdy fans — even baseballs have been known to break planks after being hit into the stands. Regardless of how they were broken, the bottom line is that damaged bleacher seats should be repaired or replaced.

With that said, broken bleacher planks don’t necessarily indicate the end of your bleachers. There are options that allow for you to renovate your bleachers with new bleacher planks, as long as the structural integrity of your bleachers is still there. You can replace broken bleacher planks by consulting experts at bleacher manufacturing companies, like National Recreation Systems.

Rusted or Missing Hardware

During regular maintenance checks, it’s always important to check bleacher hardware. If hardware is missing or rusted, it should be replaced to prevent any damage to the main components and structure of your overall bleachers. Should you need to buy new bleacher hardware, some bleacher manufacturers will supply parts. 

Damaged Bleacher Components 

Bleacher components range from planks and hardware to stairs, guardrails, deck boards, and more. If any or all of these show signs of serious wear, it may be time for new bleachers or bleacher renovations (depending on what parts you need to be replaced).

Sometimes old aluminum bleachers have parts that can be repurposed for new bleachers. Depending on the condition of your bleachers, reusing bleacher parts can be a very budget-friendly option. Always ask a bleacher manufacturer to see if this can work for you.

Reason 2: Bleachers are Not Accessible

Spectator seating should be accessible for everyone. If your current school bleachers are not ADA compliant, you might be looking to install new accessible bleachers that can accommodate wheelchair seating, ramps, and appropriate sightlines. Whether you need stadium seating or smaller spectator seating, there are a lot of options for ADA-compliant bleachers that meet requirements. When planning an ADA bleacher, it is important to keep these 4 key guidelines in mind: quantity, location, access, and sightlines.

  • Quantity - This is the number of wheelchair accessible spaces. For example, based on the number of seats your bleachers hold, you should also account for a minimum required amount of wheelchair spaces. If you have 4 to 25 seats, there should be a minimum of 1 wheelchair spaces. For 26 to 50 people, there should be a minimum of 2 wheelchair spaces. The number of wheelchair spaces should increase as the seating capacity increases.
  • Location - The location of the wheelchair spaces must be a part of the seating plan and should allow for companion seating.
  • Access - Wheelchair spaces must be on an accessible route, such as a sidewalk or smooth surface areas.
  • Sightlines - When it’s appropriate, spaces shall be dispersed providing spectators with choices of viewing angles with lines of sign equivalent to other members of the audience.

Reason 3: Building a New School or Spectator Area

A new beginning is always a good reason to buy new school bleachers. Brand new schools will often need a range of bleachers for areas like indoor gymnasiums and outdoor sport fields, such as track, football, baseball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, marching band, softball, the list goes on! Schools that are already established may also have a need for school bleachers when they build a new sports field or stadium. 

Reason 4: Bleachers Need Customization

If you’re building new bleachers or adding to your existing seating capacity, a custom-designed bleacher layout may be the right solution for your project. There are a lot of options out there to meet your specific needs. In-house bleacher design and engineering departments can often work with you to bring your concept to life by working around light poles, dugouts, concession stands or other onsite obstacles to maximize your seating capacity. Other options that are afforded by custom bleachers are adding school colors, vip seating, improved sightlines, and logos to your bleachers for a unique look. 

If you’re considering custom bleachers but worried about the cost that is often associated with custom design, some bleacher manufactures are able to utilize pre-engineered products that are configured in a custom layout that fits your site, this provides the value of standard design but the look and feel of that site specific layout your facility is in need of.

Reason 5: Switching from Wood Bleachers to Aluminum Bleachers 

Schools still using wooden bleachers are realizing the cost effectiveness and longevity of aluminum bleachers, and they are making the switch. Unlike wooden bleachers, aluminum bleachers require less maintenance, which helps to cut down on labor and replacement costs. Outdoor wooden bleachers have been known to deteriorate faster, making aluminum bleachers a preferred choice among schools for durability and safety. 

However, if making the switch from wooden bleachers to aluminum bleachers isn’t in the cards, some schools are renovating wooden bleachers with aluminum planking. This is a great option for schools that don’t have it in the budget to buy new bleachers.

Buy New School Bleachers at National Recreation Systems

At National Recreation Systems, we have many different options for schools looking to buy new bleachers. Whether you need small aluminum bleachers for crowds that require less seating or large stadium seating, we have it all. Our best-selling National Series bleachers are available in a variety of lengths and rows — we offer 3, 5, 8, and 10 row options. This is a great solution for groups of 200 or less. 

When budgets are tight, our low rise bleachers are an affordable choice. The low rise bleacher system maximizes capacity while maintaining code compliance with seating for up to 80 people. It is available with 3, 4, and 5 rows. 

If you need larger seating options, choose our elevated bleacher systems. Boasting a 63” walkway with ample room for pedestrian traffic, our elevated bleachers feature aluminum ramps, aisles with handrails, and so much more to ensure your system is fully code compliant. 

Think you’re ready to buy new school bleachers? Check out the rest of our bleacher selection on our website and get in touch with us to learn more.