“Sturdisteel has continually met and exceeded our expectation in quality, safety and schedule while maintaining their budget.” - Kirby A. Kuntz
Hensel Phelps.
“They made every effort to ensure a successful project. I would highly recommend Sturdisteel and look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.” - Jose Edwards
Edcon, Inc. General Contractors
“The work has been of the highest quality and we continue to receive feedback on the fine craftsmanship. I would highly recommend Sturdisteel on any project.” - Grant Dietze
Barcom Commercial, Inc.
“We enjoyed working with everyone at Sturdisteel on our latest project. We’ll definitely be contacting you when we are ready to expand.” - Moe Dozier
Methodist Children’s Home
“I would highly recommend Sturdisteel to anyone thinking about installing a new or refurbishing and existing outdoor grandstand.” - Dana Lundin
Nickerson Corporation

What spacing do you need for benches with backs and /or stadium chair seats?
30 inches for fixed seats backs and 33 inches for folding seat stadium chairs.

What is the difference between Gross Seating Capacity and Net Seating Capacity?
Gross seating is based on 18” per seat and is the total seating area (total rows multiplied by seating area length, divided by 1.5”). Net seating is the Gross seating, less the seating lost due to aisles and handicap spaces requirements, and will vary based on local building code requirements. Net Seating is approximately 85% of Gross Seating and is the actual seating capacity.

What information does Sturdisteel need to help with the design of our stadium?
The general information required to start design is venue type, seating capacity, building code, site conditions, future expansion plan and geographic location. Once generated, design drawings and specifications can be sent via e-mail or fax. For your convenience, all drawings, technical information and product guide specifications are downloadable from the “Resources” page of the website.

What’s the difference between Anodized and Mill finished Aluminum?
Anodized aluminum is “pre-oxidized” in a controlled environment, which creates a very thin but very hard natural barrier to corrosion. If the anodizing is kept intact, it can resist a fair amount of moisture and foot traffic.

Mill finish is the natural finish that aluminum extrusions have as they emerge from the extruder die. It’s basically bare aluminum. Mill finish will oxidize, darken and stain over time as it is exposed to air, moisture and normal use.

Aluminum extrusions are used for seats, riser boards and footboards in all of our designs. The seats and riser boards are usually specified to have an anodized finish, which provides a uniform satin protective film finish on the aluminum. The footboards are usually specified and provided with a mill finish, which is bright when new and dulls with age and usage.

Many of our customers purchase mill finish because it is less expensive than anodized finish and provides the most economical solution. Customers who want a more uniform protected appearance with better resistance to stain have the option to order all of the footboards media blasted or anodized at an additional cost.

What is the difference between interlocking deck and welded deck?
Both systems are means by which the planks are connected to reduce deflection or the “springboard effect” of, individual footboards. The spectator has the feel of walking on a solid plank. In addition, both systems reduce the amount of liquids that can seep through, creating a drier environment underneath the stand.

Interlocking decks as the word indicates, has a male/female locking system which connects the planks. This is achieved by the extrusion of the footboards and creates the rigid feeling of the walking surface.

Welded decks are achieved by actually welding the seams of the footboards when they are side by side. This achieves the same rigidity, however, the moisture will flow to the butt joints (end to end placement of planks), which are typically not welded.

Aluminum tends to expand and contract with severe changes in temperature and can break the welded seams over time. Although Sturdisteel offers both systems, we recommend the interlocking system as the superior system.

Why use aluminum frames on bleachers?
Aluminum frames are requested on a variety of bleachers in lieu of galvanized steel. Aluminum frames can be beneficial for small units (70 seats or less) which will be moved from location to location frequently. The light weight of aluminum makes this easier since aluminum structures can weigh anywhere from 35 percent to as much as 80 percent less than steel.

However for bleachers that will not be moved, galvanized steel is a stronger metal and will handle the usages over time much better than aluminum. On any Sturdisteel Permanent Grandstand, all structural members are galvanized steel. Think about it: if steel is the choice of metal on all large projects, why not on bleachers?

Today, many bleachers anchored to concrete are not going to be moved – so the light weight of aluminum offers no benefit. It’s for this reason that Sturdisteel recommends galvanized steel on all bleacher products.

I want color – Can I paint the seats?
Although color is becoming increasingly more popular on today’s bleachers and grandstands, Sturdisteel recommends coloring only riser boards, not seat boards. The part of the stand which is visible to the spectator when looking directly at it is called the vertical riser board, not the seat. The riser board is anywhere from 6″ to 13″ high and does offer visible color to a stand. The seat is 1 1\2 inches high and is not as visible when looking directly at it.

In addition, people walk on the seats and will see a great amount of wear and tear on the color. Also, spectators tend to scratch or vandalize the colored seats making them an eyesore, rather than a benefit.

I don’t want the fencing and rails on my bleachers, what can I do?
All bleacher manufacturers are required to comply with building codes, both local and national. Any portion of a bleacher over 30″ in height above grade requires a protective guardrail system, so that no sphere greater than 4″ may pass through any gap in the rail system. Optional vertical picket guardrails and be furnished as a substitute for an additional cost. Due to liability issues it is the prudent thing to furnish bleachers that meet local code. Sturdisteel bleachers stringently meet all building code requirements.

Is painted steel better than galvanized?
In our opinion, no. In today’s grandstand specifications, painted steel is becoming more popular due to the aesthetic value of color. However galvanized steel is a maintenance free coating which has been used for decades, providing the most cost efficient means of protecting the steel from rust and corrosions.

Galvanizing steel is a metallurgical bonding process which gives a longer life cycle of the stadium than painted steel. In addition, scratches on the painted steel require frequent touch ups, while galvanized steel is abrasive and self-healing. When specifying your grandstand, we recommend galvanized steel.

Why can’t shop drawings be submitted with bids? What are shop drawings?
Shop drawings are the items sent for approval, prior to the beginning of the manufacturing process. They are a detailed listing and drawing of every part of the grandstand. This is a timely and costly process and is only done after the awarding of the project. Typical cross sections and seating layouts are submitted to show a schematic of what will be furnished. Shop drawings should never be required with a bid.

What does a portable bleacher mean?
The biggest misnomer in our industry is the term “portable bleacher” and connotes the image of an easy movement of a bleacher. Any bleacher can be easily moved depending on the size. Three (3) row and five (5) row bleachers that are 21 ft. or less can be easily moved with a mobile unit. This is a wheel and tongue unit which attaches to the bleacher allowing it to be pulled to a different location.

Larger bleachers require much more time and work to be moved. Any bleacher over 140 seats will most likely require a total disassembly to move. Be careful when you hear the term “portable bleachers”.

My site is not level – what are my options?
Site conditions can affect the type of product you’ll need for your seating requirements. Angle frame bleachers require a level site to be placed such as concrete slabs, concrete runners, asphalt, gravel, crushed stones, etc.

If your site is sloped, then a custom designed permanent grandstand might be a better solution where individual concrete footings are used as the foundation. A severe slope can affect the cost of the project as the foundation becomes more expensive to install.

What are my options for more knee space?
Since comfort is a consideration in any project, knee space is an important factor in this process. Knee space varies from a minimum of 24 inches per row to a maximum of 33 inches per row. In addition, building codes dictate tread depths based on the type of seat. Benches with backrests require a minimum of 30 inches and chairs require 33 inches. These are important factors to consider when purchasing your bleachers or grandstands.