How to Buy the Right Portable Bleachers

Portable Aluminum Bleachers

Many Americans have fond memories of summers in the park watching baseball games in the late evening sunlight. While each generation sees its own trends - video games, skateboards, social media, you name it - this American past time seems to withstand the test of time, drawing families outside to cheer their team on from the bleachers. Even as our digital worlds grow, the simple past time of American spectator sports is here to stay.

Whether you need to provide temporary or permanent outdoor seating for an outdoor park or indoor gym, here are some important features and variations you'll want to consider when buying portable bleachers:

  • How many people can you safely fit on a set of portable aluminum bleachers?
  • What makes bleachers portable?
  • Which bleachers accommodate large crowds?
  • How are spectators kept safe?

Shop All Portable Bleachers

How many people can you safely fit on a set of portable aluminum bleachers?

Bleacher Capacity

Calculating bleacher capacity is fairly simple. Almost every vendor provides information about the number and length of rows, and most assume a standard 18 inch width for a person to sit comfortably. From there, it's simple math. Simply convert each row's length into inches, multiply by the number of rows, and divide by 18. This will give you the capacity of your bleachers.

Portable Aluminum Bleachers

Take our basic portable aluminum bleachers for example. The example illustrated above has 4 rows of 7.5 feet each. First, we'll convert the rows and their lengths into inches with the following formula:

7.5 feet x 4 rows x 12 inches = 360 inches. 

Now, to calculate how many people can comfortably sit within that space, we simply divide by 18 inches.

360 inches / 18 inches = 20 people. 

With this simple formula, we can see that a set of bleachers with 4, 7.5 foot rows has a 20-person capacity. (If this still seems confusing, don't worry, most of the bleachers in our collection have their estimated capacities already listed.)

What makes bleachers portable?

Bleacher Portability

Most aluminum bleachers will be considered portable simply because their easy set-up and lightweight construction makes them easy to move. However, some bleachers have an additional feature to make portability even easier.

Bleachers With Wheels

These tip and roll portable bleachers for instance have wheels attached to the back side of the bleachers where they're conveniently out of the way when bleachers are set up, but positioned right where they're needed when it's time to move the bleachers. This means they can be easily rolled away by simply tipping the bleachers backwards and rolling them to their new location.

Which bleachers accommodate large crowds?

Bleacher Risers

When standard low rise bleachers are not sufficient for high-attendance events or sports fields, bleacher risers allow you to add more and more rows, increasing your spectator capacity. 

Our Galvanized Steel Elevated Portable Bleachers for example have options for up to 15 rows of lengths up to 33 feet. Using the same formula introduced above, we can calculate an estimated capacity of 330 people. 

But with each added row, not only does the capacity increase but the bleacher's height increases as well, by about 8 or 9 inches per additional row depending on the design. This brings us to our next point about keeping spectators safe. 

How are spectators kept safe?

Additional Features For Safety

Bleachers with fence and guard rail

The risk of falling may not seem significant when bleachers are only a few feet above the ground, but larger elevated bleachers of up to 15 rows may reach more than 10 feet in height. 

Fencing and guardrails help offer stability and extra safety for these higher bleacher rows. Guardrails can even be added to a center aisle so spectators can safely reach the top rows without stumbling. Fenching can also help keep personal belongings from falling. 

All of these features help make high capacity bleachers safe.


Which of the above bleachers you choose may depend on the environment or events you're trying to accommodate. For instance outdoor sports fields may benefit from the high capacity accommodation and weather-proof treatment of the Galvanized Steel Elevated Portable Bleachers while indoor gyms or performance stages may benefit from the easy portability of the Tip And Roll Aluminum Portable Bleachers

The above considerations should help you choose the right portable barricades for your venue, but if you still have questions, don't hesitate to reach out.

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