866.311.SFGI (7344)


Contractor's License #676578

DIR #1000002632

Institutional Athletic Equipment

Sales Service Installation

Providing Quality Sports Equipment & Services

Bleacher Motorization - The "True Friction" Advantage

Poorly maintained bleachers and seating are a serious liability and safety concern!

Why Are My Motorized Bleachers Failing After a Few Short Years of Service?

Sports Facilities Group is often called out to repair bleacher systems which are not operating as they should. Many of these times we are called to service systems only a few years old. Why do these newer motorized bleachers fail so early in their lifetime?


Many newer bleacher motorized systems are now being manufactured with all the rollers on a single axle to save on costs. In this system, if the flooring is uneven underneath a wheel’s path, friction is lost at that point causing the powered wheel to slip. This will cause an uneven amount of power to be distributed across the width of the bleachers and the bleacher will travel unevenly causing binding and poor performance. Or worse, excessive wear on the bleacher components as the system racks, twists and strains to move the bleachers in and out, causing premature component failures. This will lead to costly repairs as well as being a bleacher safety issue.

In the pursuit of further cost reductions, many of the original equipment manufacturers have also under powered their systems with cheaper motors, leading to even more problems.

A better time tested approach.

Once upon a time motorized bleacher systems were all manufactured with “True Friction” power systems. They were safe, trustworthy, robust and reliable.

Unlike the single axle systems, a “True Friction” power system uses a series of powered rollers with an independent axle suspension system on each roller. This allows the rollers to move up and down to compensate for slight variations in the floor surface, ensuring an even amount of friction between the roller and the floor and resulting in an even roll-out of the bleachers. An even distribution of power leads to a consistent travel across the width of the bleachers. There is no binding, twisting and uneven travel. Less wear and tear on the motors and components equals better performance and less cost of maintenance.

Are your motorized bleachers binding, travelling unevenly or not working at all? Let Sports Facilities Group Inc. help design your bleacher motorization project.

Sports Facilities Group Inc, the bleacher experts, uses the superior “True Friction” system that ensures your bleachers will operate smoothly & reliably every time. If you are installing new bleachers, need your bleachers repaired or are undertaking a bleacher motorization project, we are the company to call!

Because we use superior components and designs, plus our 40 years of experience, we can fix motorized bleacher systems that our competitors can’t. That is why we get testimonials as you see displayed on our home page. We are the experts!

Contact us today to set up a free consultation over the phone. 866-311-7344


Our extensive experience and parts sourcing can restore proper and safe function to a wide range of bleachers and grandstands, some up to 50 years old, as well as sll newer systems.

SFG is factory authorized and trained to inspect bleachers/seating systems and recommend corrective action to prevent more serious problems and injury. Taking care of a bleacher problem early will reduce the overall cost of repair and avoid the costs of legal liablieity. To make your required (see *safety regulations below) annual inspections easy, SFG offers maintenance contracts on an annual basis or more frequently, if desired.


As of January 2007, the Division of the State Architect (DSA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the International Code Council (ICC) has collectively adopted new and more stringent guidelines regarding bleacher and grandstand inspections, maintenance and repair.

As noted below in the fine print, it is now required of any school, district, city municipality or other government agency to have any and all telescoping bleachers and stationary grandstands at its facilities inspected on a yearly basis and not only have on file a yearly report on their condition but to also maintain these seating systems in “as new a condition as possible.” These guidelines further state this work to be performed by a “qualified” person or individual certified by the manufacturer.

While we don’t expect the government to institute a bleacher/grandstand police unit any time soon, failure to follow these mandated guidelines opens up any facility to serious and costly legal issues should someone be injured on poorly maintained or non-inspected systems.

The fine print …… As stated in the Division of the State Architect Interpretation of Regulations Document IR 16-10 Design and Construction of Reviewing Stands, Grandstands, and bleachers: 2007 CBC states in section 7 that, “After the installation, the owner shall conduct annual inspections as required by ICC/ANSI 300, Section 105.2. The owner will also maintain copies of all annual inspection reports and make them available on site for DSA review upon request.”

International Code Council, ICC 300-2007, Section 105.2 states that “Yearly inspection required. The owner shall cause all bleachers, folding and telescopic seating, and grandstands to be inspected at least once a year in order to verify that the structure is maintained in compliance with the provisions of this standard. All folding and telescopic seating shall also be inspected to evaluate compliance with the manufacturer’s installation and operational instructions, including an inspection during the opening and closing of such seating.”

Inspection Section 501.2 states that, “all existing tiered seating shall be inspected and evaluated at least once a year by a qualified person for compliance…”

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P.O. Box 7024 Riverside, CA 92503

Ph. 866.311.SFGI (7344)

Fax. 951.637.8406



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