The addition of low-rise 3 and 4-row bleachers can be the perfect seating option for your field or complex.
Without blowing your budget, low-rise aluminum bleachers are the most economical option that will still meet all building and safety codes while providing a quality, safe place for spectators to enjoy the action whether it’s in your gym or from the sidelines of your field.
Low-rise bleachers are the recommended seating solution for many types of venues, most notably for limited space gyms or the more intimate outdoor venues like those commonly found at recreation centers or divided, multi-use community complexes, jointly used for team sports like soccer, baseball, and softball.
But 3 or 4-row low-rise bleachers can also fill an extra seating need should you find yourself dealing with an unused, smaller space that can’t be fitted with standard aluminum bleachers.
Low-rise 3 and 4-row bleachers fit unique challenges of small spaces
When space and/or budget are at a premium, consider installing low-rise bleachers for your spectator seating needs. They are the perfect choice for unique areas and events that require more seating, yet lack the space desired to install standard bleachers requiring the code mandated aisles and additional guardrails.
When purchased and installed with 4 rows or less, the top row of low-rise bleachers remains under 30 inches from ground level. This is important because it allows the installation and use of bleachers without the mandatory addition of specific guardrails and aisles in order to meet building and safety codes, including bleacher egress requirements.
In essence, low-rise bleacher seating was created so as to comply with building and safety codes while allowing the maximum amount of rows of seating without the need for aisles or guardrails.
Low-rise bleachers are commonly used and considered the preferred choice for team sporting events like baseball and soccer, where the action and the players on the field are spread out and can be more easily seen and followed while seated at lower elevations, in contrast to the grouped, tight action of a football game, for example. For those events, elevated aluminum bleachers are preferred.
Low-rise bleachers installed as updates to youth community center
A great example of the use of low-rise bleachers came through the generosity of the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 2017, the non-profit arm of Spurs Sports and Entertainment, called Silver And Black Give Back, gave one of its four annually available grants to a small, local, non-profit, the Presa Community Center.
The nearly $57,000 grant was used in a variety of ways to update the center and make it more user-friendly through updates that included a new seating configuration of low-rise aluminum bleachers.
Now, not only do the youths have better playing conditions, but their families now have better accommodations to watch and cheer them on.
The low-rise bleachers also serve as a place for parents and community members to sit, mingle, and meet other neighbors, helping to form a stronger community bond.
Specific qualities of 3 and 4-row bleachers that are code-compliant
- Low-rise bleacher structures feature 2” x 12” anodized set planks, wider than the standard 2” x 10”.
- The first row of seats is 10 ½” off the ground, which may be uncomfortable and feel like bit of a squatting position for taller adults, but is the perfect height for children.
- Low-rise bleachers have a 6 “ rise per row.
- With these specifications, the top seat height on low-rise bleachers remains under 30” from the ground, meaning aisles and guardrails aren’t required, according to most of the current building and safety codes. Once you move up to the 5 row bleachers, the top seat will exceed the 30 “ height, and require a guardrail on the back of the aluminum bleachers.
Aluminum bleachers compliant with applicable design loads
Aluminum bleachers are subject to forces delivered by pedestrian quantity and size, spectator traffic, and simple changes in weather conditions. Low-rise aluminum bleachers are manufactured, assembled, and installed to meet the design loads mandated in the International Building Code (IBC), 2012/2015 Edition/ ICC 300 2012. These design loads encompass the following:
- Live Loads: Uniform loading – Structure = 100 pounds per square foot (psf). Uniform loading – Seat and Foot Planks = 120pounds per linear foot (plf).
- Sway Loads: Perpendicular to seats = 10 pounds per linear foot (plf). Parallel to seats = 24 pounds per linear foot (plf).
- Guardrail Loads: Uniform vertical load = 100 pounds per linear foot (plf). Uniform horizontal load = 50 pounds per linear foot (plf), and Concentrated horizontal load = 200 pounds (lbs.).
- Wind Loads: Basic design wind speed = 150 mile per hour (mph), Exposure B. In order to meet these wind loads, the low-rise aluminum bleachers must be anchored in accordance with local codes.
Saving money while staying code compliant – benefit of low-rise bleachers
When looking at the characteristics of low-rise bleachers, one of the first things that come to mind is the sleek, shorter profile with a shorter height on the front row.
While taller adults may view that as a disadvantage, that first shorter row can allow children or shorter adults to comfortably and safely sit while attending a sporting event with their family.
Also, because of the low-rise profile, there is the ability to get more seats in a space that wouldn’t work with standard bleachers needing aisles, guardrails, and railings.
But the biggest advantage in choosing low-rise aluminum bleachers for your venue or complex is the cost savings over more traditional bleacher installations.
By requiring less material upfront with no need to add aisles, chain link guarding, or handrails for up to four rows of quality, comfortable, and safe seating, low-rise bleachers can be just the place for your spectators to catch all the action.
Low-rise bleachers are built to the same manufacturing specifications as standard aluminum bleachers, requiring minimal maintenance while remaining weather resistant and sporting an exceptional lifespan depending on care and use.
Three and four-row low-rise aluminum bleachers are the answer you’re looking for to add quality, economical seating in an area that is currently open, underused, and limited in space.
Note: The Park and Facilities Catalog has a variety of high-quality bleachers for sale. We manufacture everything from low-rise 3 and 4-row bleachers to elevated 5 and 10-row bleachers and larger, including portable bleachers. Custom aluminum bleachers for sale are also available.
By Gerald Dlubala