Reasons for using sports bleachers at sporting events may seem obvious. Bleachers give spectators a place to sit. Bleachers can make following events on the field easier. Bleachers provide a degree of separation between spectators and participants that will tend to make sporting events safer. Bleachers provide an effective way of accommodating large numbers of people within a relatively small area.
All of this is obvious when you find yourself in a stadium watching collegiate or professional sports. It would be impossible for 40,000 people to follow the action taking place in any sporting event if it were not for bleachers, unless of course there was a convenient hillside nearby. Even much smaller crowds, those for example that might be watching a football game at a smaller high school, will benefit if bleacher seats are available.
There are all sorts of reasons for using sports bleachers at sporting events, most of them having to do with the comfort and well-being of the spectators.
Ten Reasons You Want to Watch a Sporting Event from a Bleacher Seat
1. Sitting Beats Standing - Unless you're the type that likes to prowl the sidelines, sitting beats standing any day. Unless you are a rabid, fanatical follower of a team, you're feet and legs are eventually going to begin to tire. After all, a typical sporting event lasts around 2 hours - a long time to stand. A bench may suffice, but bleachers are far better.
2. Keep Your Feet Dry - Not all play fields have bleachers, and not all play fields have dry grass or dry dirt all of the time. Stand in wet grass long enough and you're sure to get wet feet. Now your feet are both tired and wet. That is something that is not apt to happen in a bleacher seat.
3. You Don't Have to Stand in Front to See - If there is one major reason to permanently install bleachers or have portable bleachers readily available, is they allow more people to see the action on the field. The height difference between rows of seats does not have to be all that much to give everyone a clear view. Of more importance is the height between your seat and your feet, and the opportunity to stretch your legs a bit. Most well-designed bleachers take this into account.
4. The Higher You Sit, the Better the Action - This isn't always true, especially if you happen to be sitting in the nosebleed section of a large stadium, although you can still see what's happening on the field, even if you can't read the numbers on the jerseys. For a high-school football game or a softball game at a recreation area, four or five rows of seats is often all that is needed to give the spectators a good view of the action. The height bleachers should be would normally be determined more by anticipated crowd size than by the ability of the spectators to watch the action.
5. Portability can be Useful - Bleachers don't always have to be permanent. Tip and roll bleachers for outdoors use can be carted away and stored away from the elements if needed, moved from one play field to another, or located behind home plate or on the 50-yard line, or wherever the best seating for a given sport would be. Indoors, foldable bleachers on casters can allow a gym or basketball court to be used for other activities as well.
6. Warmth - Have you ever tried keeping warm with a blanket while standing up? Bleachers don't always look all that warm - quite the opposite in fact. If you're seated with a blanket under your seat or across your lap, you'll be a lot more comfortable than you will when standing. Bleachers are usually built for comfort except for taking leg room into account, so you need to supply your own blanket and cushion.
7. Keeping Dry - If bleachers have been installed, it's much easier for spectators to keep dry. A hat and raincoat will still be needed, but if you're sitting you can usually keep dryer and warmer, especially if the wind is blowing.
8. Socializing - Have you ever noticed that socializing with others is sometimes more difficult when standing, although cocktail parties are a possible exception? When everyone is seated, group socializing is usually easier, plus you feel more like you are a part of the group. At a cocktail party you'll sometimes find yourself wandering around looking for a friendly face. In the bleachers, they're all around you.
9. More Noise - A group of people seated together in the bleachers can generate more noise for the home team than they can when scattered about. When spectators are strung out along the sideline, group cheering can sometimes sound rather weak.
10. Safety - On a more serious note, one of the best reasons for installing bleachers is the safety factor they bring. Crowd control is easier and there is less chance for fan interference with happenings on the field, or vice versa.
- CPSC Guidelines for Retrofitting Bleachers - PDF
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Find more about the author: Kristen Breedlove