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Concrete Bleachers vs Aluminum Bleachers

Whether you’re planning spectator seating for a soccer field, a baseball diamond, a park, a high school, or even a rodeo, each setting can have its own set of unique attributes to consider when it comes to seating. Choosing the best seating solution is critical for those who visit to have an enjoyable experience. The seating you choose impacts both the overall design and appearance of your sports arena and what type of experience visitors have during an event.

In most settings, there are two main types of bleacher seating types to consider: concrete bleachers and aluminum bleachers. Both concrete and aluminum bleachers have their own benefits and drawbacks to consider for different installation settings. Therefore, it is important to investigate both options thoroughly to determine which option is best for you and your setting.

Which bleachers would work out best for your spectator area? What about long-term maintenance, weather-resiliency, and durability between the two different bleacher types? Here is a thorough overview of concrete vs aluminum bleachers to answer those questions and help you make the best decision.

Concrete Bleachers

Concrete bleachers are permanent or semi-permanent seating fixtures made of high-grade concrete. These bleachers can either be constructed on-site using forms and structural supports or prefabricated off-site and moved into place on a field or even indoors in a gym piece by piece. Most often, concrete bleachers are an option for sports arenas or fields, but they are occasionally implemented for larger-scale sports or spectator settings.

Concrete bleachers are durable because of the solid-state and weather-resilience of the materials, and they do have a sturdy structure. Further, in general, concrete bleachers can be a little cheaper where materials are concerned. However, these bleachers are also time-intensive and labor-intensive to have installed because of the sheer volume of work that goes into erecting them.

As an adage, concrete bleachers are a relatively permanent solution for seating because the heavy materials can be so difficult to demolish and remove. Additionally, concrete bleachers can require more long-term maintenance. The material is resilient but may require ongoing upkeep with sealants and paint to protect the smooth finish as the years go by. This can be especially true in areas that are prone to a lot of precipitation, or in areas of the bleachers themselves that sustain a great deal of foot traffic.

Benefits of Concrete Bleachers

  • Option to paint the concrete
  • Materials can be cheaper
  • Weather resilient
  • Long-lasting
  • Solid structure
  • Heat retention

Drawbacks of Concrete Bleachers

  • Labor and time-intensive to install
  • Longer lead time to completion
  • Permanent installation; no option to move and costly to demolish
  • Expensive installation process due to labor, equipment ,and time involved
  • Difficult long-term maintenance

Aluminum Bleachers

Aluminum bleachers are a fully customizable seating solution for sports arenas, gyms, and outdoor areas for spectator events. The bleachers can either be prefabricated and set up on-site or completely customized and erected on-site. Aluminum bleachers offer versatility; you have access to a number of different framing and structure designs, such as angle-frame, I-beam, elevated, non-elevated, and portable bleachers.

When bleacher designs are planned for any specific area outdoors, soil load-bearing volume is tested to ensure the ground can withstand the force of the installed units. One of the major perks of aluminum bleachers is the fact that they can be installed quickly, but they can also be versatile enough to work out for all viewing settings, even those with large or especially small crowds. When working with a good company like GT Grandstands, we will work with you to determine the optimal sight-lines and build the bleachers according to those measurements.

A major benefit to consider is that aluminum bleachers are fully configurable. You can easily pull together multiple features to make sure the seating works out well for every visitor scenario. For example, if you need bleachers that offer wheelchair accessibility, ramps, walkway aisles, or otherwise, that can be accomplished. Additionally, aluminum seating setups meld well with either outlying features, such as press boxes, team benches, or box seating areas.

Benefits of Aluminum Bleachers

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Flexible for outdoor use
  • Able to withstand many different weather conditions
  • Can be pre-fabricated, making the installation process simple and quick and cost-effective
  • Lower foundation costs vs concrete
  • Fewer foundation requirements vs concrete
  • Versatile for both larger and smaller crowds
  • Easy maintenance

Drawbacks of Aluminum Bleachers

  • Material can be more expensive than concrete
  • Aluminum absorbs heat and cold depending on the weather

Aluminum Bleachers are the Preferred Choice

While both concrete and aluminum bleachers have their advantages, aluminum bleachers tend to be the most desirable option for obvious reasons. Aluminum bleachers offer cost-effectiveness for organizations of all sizes, they offer durable seating that's customizable for unique scenarios, and they also ensure long-term satisfaction with the seating solution.

Aluminum is also far easier to maintain compared to concrete bleachers; there is no sealing, painting, or time-consuming cleaning involved. The finish of aluminum can look just as good as the first day of installation with a little general cleaning a few times per season.

How to Find the Best Aluminum Bleachers

Not all aluminum bleachers are created equally. While there are quite a few manufacturers when it comes to bleachers made from aluminum, not all products are built with the same attention to detail and quality. You definitely want to opt for bleachers that will stand the test of time and continue to serve your organization for the years to come.

A note to keep in mind, most companies offer only prefabricated aluminum bleacher options. While these can be effective seating solutions for some, many clients need more customized options to ensure every viewer at their overseen event has the best seating and spectator experience. Therefore, it is important to make sure you do your research to ensure you are working with the best company.

Ensure Every Spectator Has the Best Seat at Your Event

Aluminum bleachers from GT Grandstands ensure that you feel more confident in your final purchase decision. We lead the industry in aluminum bleacher design, which allows us to provide innovative bleacher solutions for our customers. For over 20 years, we’ve offered nationwide services to design and manufacture metal bleachers and other solutions for spectator seating. We don't just focus on quality seating our customers can be pleased to include in their settings, we also strive to keep our pricing as fair as possible.

Our product offering includes portable tip’n’roll aluminum bleachers, ADA wheelchair seating, ramps, stairs, and larger bleachers, including aisles. Among our massive collection of aluminum bleacher designs and prefabricated options, you’ll find bleachers for small crowds and 15-row bleachers to hold hundreds of people.

Not only are our bleachers customizable to adequately suit your needs, but we also have the experience and knowledge guaranteed to make sure that you know you’ve made the right choice. And, we offer everything from permanent grandstands for large-scale sports arenas to frame bleachers and team benches if they are needed.

GT Grandstands provides:

  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Over 70 years of combined experience
  • Full five-year warranty on standard bleachers (surpasses one-year industry standard)
  • Oversized galvanized steel or aluminum angle frames for a lifetime of maintenance-free service
  • Galvanized hardware (will not rust like zinc-plated hardware)
  • Chemically cleaned aluminum welds to remove “black” residue
  • Extra-strong aluminum plank extrusions
  • Units that can be customized to meet your specific needs or local building code requirements

But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself by taking a look at our portfolio. If you’re interested in aluminum bleachers, check out our buying guide to make sure you have the information you need. To further discuss our customized aluminum bleacher options or receive a custom quote, reach out to one of our representatives so we can find the solutions that perfectly fit your unique needs.