When it comes to planned expenditures, our friends over at Recreation Management Magazine conduct annual research that is helpful in more ways than one. Their annual report takes a deep dive into annual trends for spending with regards to colleges and universities across the United States.
While the 2019 edition of their annual survey indicated little to no changes with regards to planned features and upgrades, there was certainly some movement up the ranks for certain products such as bleachers and seating.
While planning for the development of synthetic turf sports fields remains at the top of the list for the second consecutive year, bleachers and seating took honours in the third spot for the most planned additions to colleges and universities. Jumping up from sixth position in late 2018, it is no secret that the building boon for planned seating will continue through 2020.
This holds true particularly for outdoors spaces. Commonly planned features that were not included in the 2018 edition of the list include fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment, natural turf sports fields, outdoor sports courts and outdoor aquatic facilities. These statistics alone paint the picture for an upcoming increase in demand for outdoor seating to compliment the movement towards more outdoor-themed athletic areas.
Here’s where we think a lot of this attention will likely end up when it comes to bleachers and seating:
An incredibly fast-growing segment of outdoor seating structures such as bleachers are those equipped to handle those living with disabilities, and with good reason. Today, most bleachers that are being manufactured are being manufactured with the unique design elements that satisfy these new requirements. These include, but are not limited to; custom ramps, guardrails, handrails, wheelchair seating areas and platforms, just to name a few.
Outdoor aluminum benches designed for keeping score or for seating participants and players are now becoming mainstays on football, soccer and baseball fields across North America. These benches are modular in design, accommodating various numbers of players and can be installed permanently in the ground, mounted on the surface or can be configured to be completely portable.
Smaller than i-beam grandstand bleachers, smaller bleachers designed for secondary sports fields are also in high demand. These bleachers are available in Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum or Platinum ADA configurations and are designed to accommodate a variety of specific needs and balance a wide range of available budgets.
As we move into 2020, these are an area of focus for us and have been in extremely high demand so far given their easy-to-configure nature, standard guardrails and sturdy and durable construction.