15 stadium seating innovations that will keep your fans and your team happy!

11 February 2019

Stadium seating innovations to keep the fans (and your lawyer and accountant) happy!

Choosing seating for any stadium is a big deal. Not only do you need to keep the patrons happy, but behind the scenes you’ve probably got a team of accountants and lawyers who also need to be satisfied! Well fret not my friend, we’ve got the ultimate list of 15 things to look out for when choosing stadium seating.

Spectators at a stadium are generally sitting for a long period of time, so keeping them comfortable is a high priority when choosing your seating. Seats that encourage good posture, have cushioning options, and can safely hold folks of all shapes and sizes will enhance the spectator experience and ensure their happy return for the next big event.

Lawyers want seats that keep people safe. Less accidents mean fewer lawsuits and happy people all round! Recent innovations in seating safety have been designed to significantly reduce personal risk and improve accessibility for all.

Accountants want an investment that gives the best bang for buck! They’ll approve a seating solution that can withstand the rigours of stadium-goers while also being able to increase capacity (without compromising safety). Longevity, durability and flexibility are critical to getting that CapEx signed off.

To satisfy these key stakeholders, you may ask yourself, “What do I need to look for when choosing my stadium seating?” We’ve done the hard yards for you, so read on to find out.

Top 15 stadium seating design innovations:

  1. Increase safety and comfort with a high backrest: From a safety point of view, seats with a high backrest can negate the requirement for additional rails and secondary safety fittings in high–level tiers; this in turn reduces your fit–out costs (can you hear the accountant already cheering?).This design feature also provides a substantial advantage in the safe egress of the crowd from your venue. Spectators will of course enjoy the exceptional comfort and back support that a high backrest provides.

  2. Stay competitive with an ergonomic and anthropometric–focussed seating solution: To remain competitive, stadiums must deliver the highest level of spectator comfort. Look for a stadium seat that has an ergonomic and anthropometric–focused design that ensures a great fit for all shapes. Integrated cushion systems that provide superior lumbar support and recessed cushion edges are a great way to protect the cushion edge from passers - by “wear and tear”. As your stadium requirements may change over time, choose a flexible seating solution where you can easily adjust the levels of comfort provided.

  3. Prevent injuries with an internally–sealed, soft–action ‘tip-up’ mechanism: This feature eliminates ‘scissor–action’ fingertraps, preventing many injuries that can be caused by the metal brackets in many seat designs. No damping fluid escapes from an internally sealed mechanism and because it’s not directly exposed to the elements, the life of the seat is extended.

  4. Manage trip hazards through an innovative seat design: For the safety of your spectators, ensure you select a seat shape that eliminates the void between seats with a more curved design. A seat design that aligns tightly and more precisely prevents trip hazards and foot traps between seats. This features reduces the risk of accidents as foot traffic moves through the aisles.

  5. Secure spectator safety with a ‘set and forget’ strap fixing system: Firmly secure your seats to the rail with a ‘set and forget’ strap fixing system to reduce your operational costs. The major advantage of this innovative strap technology is that the fixing won’t loosen, unlike clamping mechanisms which loosen over time from a condition called ‘creep’. Strap technology is particularly important, as it can be impossible to determine if a clamp has loosened and the spectator is at risk of falling.

  6. Choose a high rail system to improve fire retardancy and reduce install times: An installation at over 400mm above the ground—a high rail system—reduces installation, maintenance and labour costs (‘Hooray!’ shout the accountants again). A high rail install supports visibility and identification of row end cap letters by easily clearing riser steps and other obstacles including installation over concrete – form designs, such as chamfers, and facilitating greater under–seat cleaning accessibility.Choosing a high rail system also improves spectator safety in the event of a fire, by elevating the seat high enough above the ground to protect them from small, accidental rubbish fires and greatly reduces the likelihood of ignition from such fires. Engineered compounds to meet FR ratings can be included, as required.

  7. Improved wayfinding with easy–to–see seat identification: There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find your seat. Make sure the seats that you select feature prominent seat and row numbering to improve wayfinding at your venue. Look for seat numbers that are tilted upwards, are as close to eye level as possible and protect your numbering system with clear lenses that also allow for easy replacement or interchange with seat customisation for particular events.

  8. Mix and match your look with seat sleeves: This ‘Seat Sleeve’ innovation is an industry first and game changer in terms of marketing. The dynamic sleeve interchange enables the altering or upgrading of a chosen seating formation at any time. Venues that require different coloured seats for branding patterns will appreciate the rapid seat sleeve interchange feature that enables a faster change and a cost-effective alternative to changing the whole seat. The perfect solution to satisfy sponsor requirements!

  9. Ensure your seats look good for longer, with UV protection: Choose a seat that, when the seat is in the ‘tip-up’ position, covers the entire backrest. This innovation will vastly reduce any discolouring and vignette-like fading from UV light. A no-brainer, right?

  10. Save install costs with a fast ‘plug and play’ installation: The simpler your stadium seats are to install, the faster they go in reducing labour costs. Installers will appreciate a high-rail solution with light–weight componentry, resulting in fewer back–strain injuries as less bending is required.

  11. Adjust your seats easily and enjoy hassle–free versatility: The ability to horizontally and vertically align seats upon install, and adjust at any time with upgrades or the addition of accessories is a must! This innovation will allow your venue to meet its demanding sight line requirements, even if the concrete tiers are not akin to the architect’s expectations. You can also vertically adjust the seating system, even after completion of install. Design an aesthetically–pleasing look to your venue with ease and let your creativity free.

  12. Improve accessibility with a tight–folding seat design: This innovation is a win for everyone! A tight–folding seat creates the widest–possible clear aisle between rows; doubling spectator accessibility and improving user comfort. Improved aisle clearance accelerates access to and egress from the venue, enhances crowd safety in the event of an evacuation, and enables your venue to start up and shut down faster, saving on personnel and power costs. Maximising aisle clearance also serves to increase revenue by halving the time taken for customers to reach vendor facilities. In some cases this has increased vendor sales by 500%!

  13. Strengthen your investment with engineered durability: The adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is so true with stadium venue seating. Avoid constant maintenance and invest in a seating solution that comprises carefully engineered materials that provide exceptional strength and durability, and ensure that the solution meets International Standard Organisation (ISO) specifications. If you want to exceed those minimum specifications, ask if your preferred solution can be enhanced by adding higher grades of polymer or steel and ask to see how the seating performed over extended cycle testing.

  14. Protect your environment with a sustainable solution: Environmental sustainability is not just a craze. People want to know that you’re doing your darndest at reducing your global footprint. When it comes to seating, that means finding a seat shape that is engineered to reduce material and energy consumption, or seeing if components can be recycled or reused. Selecting a seating solution that guarantees a long product life, further optimises the sustainability of the overall refurbishment.

  15. Increase capacity efficiency with curved rails: When seating rows change angle in corner bays, a curved section enables a smooth transition of seats. This improves spectators’ personal space and comfort in these areas, delivering a more intelligent alternative to the common solution of installing two straight rails.

Stadiums are competing not only with other venues to secure popular entertainment contracts, but with the ever-improving home theatre experience, so customer satisfaction and the live experience needs to be the best it possibly can. Selecting the right seating solution for your stadium is critical. So do your research, do the ‘sit’ test, and chat to the experts to make sure the fans, accountants and lawyers are cheering all the way to the end!

Check out Alloyfold’s range of stadium seating here or contact us at sales@alloyfold.com to find out more.  Our Box Seat range ticks all 15 of the boxes above so for a stadium seating option that will last the distance then contact us!


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