When to Repair and When to Replace Telescopic Bleachers

    Posted by Ryan Wilby

    Dec 5, 2019 12:15:00 AM


    If your facility is fortunate enough to have a retractable bleacher system in place, you likely cannot imagine life without it. These systems are particularly handy in spaces such as gymnasiums, lecture halls, pool decks and other spaces that require a little flexibility and versatility when it comes to seating.

    For these reasons alone, there truly is no better choice than purchasing a bank or two of retractable bleachers that easily open or close on command (in some cases by manual command).

    Much is riding on your seating and the moment it becomes unsafe is the moment it becomes a serious concern for any facility manager. With safety being of paramount concern, irregular operation of any kind should be carefully inspected and any problems exposed, and remedied right away.

    This is often the case with many older model retractable bleacher systems that are still in operation in facilities across North America. These outdated systems are usually constructed using wooden planks and can quickly become a hazard if not maintained properly or are simply past a certain age.

    So, the question that often comes up is whether or not repair makes sense over a complete replacement. The short answer to that question is, quite simply: it depends.


    Functionality and Safety

    This will often be assessed after a complete inspection of the equipment. The question that needs to be answered is whether or not the repair will rectify all of the existing safety concerns as well as the operational quality of the seating. In many cases, facilities will have no real functional problems and will instead turn to refurbishing or replacing seating to bring the aesthetic quality of the bleachers up to date.


    Depending on the age of your facility and where you are at with your athletic programming, an outdated set of telescopic bleachers could be the perfect excuse to upgrade to a larger set. Many facilities opt for this option, moving out the old and bringing in additional seating for the new.



    Much like anything else, much of this will be dependent on the allocated budget available for any repairs or upgrades. As a rule of thumb to remember, we always recommend considering complete replacement if the repair or refurbishing cost is equal to 50 percent or more of the complete replacement cost.


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