Oct 26, 2017 4:11:03 PM
Replace or Renovate Your Outdoor Grandstands?
What’s the right decision? A wise decision is based on the Total Cost of Ownership principle. Upfront costs for renovation or retro-fit are usually less than a full replacement. Even though you may save money upfront, in most cases you will bear the additional costs for maintenance and repair in the near future. In addition, issues with CODE Compliance and safety concerns are a consideration that will likely reduce the amount of your initial savings in the near-term. Additional lost revenue opportunities should be considered as part of your decision given possible poor aesthetics of the facility and the associated lack of fan base support.
Decision Criteria: Safety / CODE Concerns with Existing Bleachers
Shouldn’t safety always be your #1 priority? With that in mind, your current bleachers may be unsafe and not CODE compliant. Before making any decision, be sure you check the following:
- Could a Small Child fall through large gaps in your old bleacher?
- Make sure you have Side rails/ hand rails to prevent anyone from falling
- Check to see if you have ADA ramps for handicap attendees
- Check to see if you have enough ADA Handicap Seating for a comfortable view
- Get a Structural Engineer’s approval before making any decisions on a renovation or full replacement project.
There are several reasons why replacing your existing bleachers with new grandstands would be more cost effective than a budget restricting retro-fit or renovation. Constructing replacement bleachers is a much smoother, less risky, and economically efficient operation. The additional cost for a full replacement bleacher, including understructure, may be less than you think. Initially a full replacement may seem like a more expensive strategy, but after considering the short and long term benefits you may change your mind. Here are a few factors to consider that likely will benefit you in the long run.
- Long Term Savings: Spending a little more upfront could give your program a greater return on investment. This investment will last your school 25-30 years!
- Annual Tune Ups: Completely replacing a bleacher will allow the school to significantly lower your annual maintenance costs. Aside from your maintenance inspections, the only work that may be necessary is if your rowdy student section loosens foot decking or seat boards.
- Color & Logos: Replacement bleachers have the ability to spell out logos or initials with matching risers in school colors giving your bleachers a sharper look.
- Admission $: As a school, you will feel more comfortable charging a higher price for a comprehensive seating upgrade that might include VIP chair seating.
- Easy Clean: New no-rust aluminum seating and decking will allow you to power wash the bleachers eliminating any rusting.
- Fully Enclosed Decking: Unlike most renovations, new replacement bleachers are fully enclosed that have no gaps whatsoever. This keeps trash, debris, or even personal belongings from falling under the bleacher.
Renovation: What to Consider!
Renovation is a viable option if it is designed and constructed properly. Anytime your school starts to make a decision whether to renovate or replace, there are a couple cautions that need to be considered when it comes to renovation. Although it may save you money upfront, fully evaluate your situation before making a final decision.
- Faulty Upgrade: Renovations should be more than a mere face-lift. Mixing/matching new and existing decking and bench seating will likely disappoint. Make sure to seek a subject-matter expert, like Toadvine, before making any big decisions so you don’t spend money on a faulty upgrade.
- Look and Feel: Renovation can sometimes leave you with a bleacher that has a multitude of different looking products. Make sure to keep all of your seating consistent so you don’t end up with a mismatched and unprofessional looking bleacher.
- Understructure Warnings: Make sure a structural engineer checks the understructure of the old bleacher to guarantee it will be able to hold and support the added weight of the new additions.
- Level Seats: With the merging of bleacher product technologies, it is not a guarantee that your bleacher bench seating will lay straight. With the constant changing of parts and pieces over the years, sections of your bench seating may not align with one another.
Jim Kessinger, Head Facilities Director of Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, KY spoke of his experiences with full replacement and renovation: “In my 35 years of experience, I have done both new replacement and renovation outdoor bleacher projects. New bleachers ultimately just provide a better outcome for our schools with less problems both at time of construction and in the years to follow. Toadvine has been a great partner in guiding us through the appropriate decision making process.”
Ask for Help!
Let Toadvine guide you through the decision making process of your new construction project or renovation upgrade. Toadvine is available to share our expertise in all phases of your outdoor bleacher projects, from design to installation and ongoing maintenance. Our experienced team, including project managers, will work with you from start to finish on all aspects of your outdoor bleacher projects.
- Call Toadvine for a full evaluation of your current grandstands.
- Set up an appointment to meet with our expert team to discuss all the options.
- Let us put you in touch with other clients that have made similar decisions.
Apr 21, 2017 2:24:14 PM
Toadvine Enterprises is a sports facility construction / design / build firm specializing in indoor & outdoor spectator seating solutions, athletic facility equipment, scoreboards, with facility maintenance & service support. Toadvine geographically covers KY, TN, IN, & OH. Our clients include K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and municipal sports venues.
Construction Project Manager: Toadvine is looking for an experienced construction project manager to support our growth. The Project Manager manages all aspects of construction projects including project planning, contracts, submittal process, scheduling construction, cost management and overseeing subcontractors’ performance insuring compliance with quality standards. This position is located in Louisville.
Tennessee Sales Representative: Toadvine is looking for a results driven sales representative in Tennessee with a strong passion for sports along with a mechanical and problem solving aptitude. The TN Sales Rep is responsible for revenue and gross profit generation of Toadvine’s sales offerings which include uncovering new / renovation opportunities for outdoor grandstands, indoor telescopic bleachers, basketball & volleyball systems, and scoreboards in addition to maintenance & service. This individual will build relationships with owners, general contractors, and architects.
For more information, contact Chris Tolley or send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Apr 4, 2017 8:32:56 AM
Safety Straps: For the Safety of All
The gym must be a safe place - right? Floors are regularly cleaned and inspected for damage, bleachers are lubricated and seats are tightened, and electrical and plumbing systems are subject to strict codes. But what about the stuff hanging over your head? Too often, basketball backstops are the most overlooked piece of equipment in your gymnasium. Once the backstop system is properly installed, it is the schools responsibility to inspect and maintain that equipment.
Pulleys, cables, components, limit switches and many other factors can contribute to failure of a suspended backstop. The one overriding factor in all falls is the lack of a fully automatic safety strap. The majority of existing units lack a fully automatic safety strap and aren't regularly inspected.
What Happens if a Basketball Backstop Falls?
When you turn the key to lower or raise your basketball backstops, do you ever think about what would happen if a cable suddenly snapped? Many athletic directors and staff members who operate basketball goals are quite weary of the size of these units and keep a close eye on the unit when raising or lowering them. The movable portion of a backstop system can weigh close to 1,000 pounds and can be suspended 20 to 30 feet above the court floor. Together, when these systems fall, they can generate thousands of pounds of force on impact. It usually damages the backstop structure and facility. More importantly, it can also cause injury to spectators below. The type of damage that occurs when this happens can include damaged gym floors and bleachers, pipes damaging ceilings and walls, and even fractured ceiling beams.
What are Safety Straps?
Safety straps are the seatbelts for your ceiling-suspeded basketball goals. This piece of equipment acts as a backup so that if the cable ever failed, the safety strap acts like the seatbelt in your car and stops the backboard from falling.
Many older safety systems were not automatic and pinched the belt when triggered, requiring a manual reset of the unit. After having to travel 30 feet high to reset the unit a few times, many were just removed from the backstop and tied off to avoid having to reset them. Today, safety straps are fully enclosed, self-checking, reset automatically and work silently in the background.
Why Get Safety Straps for your Basketball Backstops?
There is no good reason for any movable backstop to not have a safety strap installed. Safely securing a piece of ceiling-suspended equipment will give you peace of mind for not only the safety of parents, coaches and student-athletes but also for your finances. Accidents happen sometimes besides our best efforts to prevent them. Having a proper safety system installed will provide a greater level of safety.
- Gain peace of mind knowing that your goals are secured and players and fans are safe
- Reasonably inexpensive-safety straps won’t negatively impact your program’s athletic budget
- An “Insurance” type product-safety straps are worth every penny to protect what matters
- Most insurance companies require safety straps in areas where goals hang above bleachers
- Rarely need to be replaced-good until they catch a basketball goal
If you do not already have a preventative maintenance plan for your basketball backstops, we suggest you plan one now. If you do not have the resources or expertise to perform an initial inspection or to provide preventative maintenance, there are qualified inspection and maintenance companies like Toadvine who can provide this service for you locally.
If you plan to perform this yourself, here are some suggestions for inspection and maintenance of your equipment:
- Install a safety strap or inspect your existing safety strap belt for any sign of wear and perform a pull test to test the units function
- Inspect and tighten bolts where needed
- Check all moving parts for signs of wear and replace as needed
- Lubricate moving parts where required
- Replace winch cable every two years or immediately if there is any visible wear
- Inspect and adjust limit switches
By following some of these general guidelines for better backstop safety, the next game in your gym can be a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved.
Mar 2, 2017 4:28:03 PM
How to Generate Revenue with Your Athletic Facility
Find out how to increase your revenue by using multiple facets of your facility to not only pay for the upgrades, but also give your program’s finances a boost. Toadvine Enterprises strives to help each customer grow their athletic department to provide the best experience for both student-athletes and fans. If you find that your programs are pinching pennies, consider the follow options:
VIP Seating provides an excellent return on investment. Consider VIP Seating as part of a project to renovate an existing grandstand or a complete replacement of your outdoor stadium bleachers. VIP Seating not only can help you pay for your project, but also creates an ongoing revenue stream to help pay for program expenses. A local high school in Louisville, Kentucky took advantage of VIP seating to pay for a large stadium upgrade in 3 years. Avid fans and parents of your student-athletes will be quick to pay extra for an assigned, comfortable and convenient seat to watch their favorite athletic teams. Here is a list of attributes that will be provided through a VIP Seating investment:
- Increased revenue stream for premium seating
- Comfortable Chair-back seating
- Generous amount of leg room
- Cup holders for added convenience
- Pre-paid season tickets will help you budget for the season
- Advertisement opportunities with name/company plates on seats
Investing in a new and upgraded scoreboard is another way to create revenue streams to pay for facility projects and ongoing program expenses. Your fan’s eyes are constantly glancing at the scoreboard almost as much as they are watching the actual game. With the purchase of a new scoreboard, local companies will be lining up to get their message on your board whether it be in video form or with scoreboard signage. Upgrading your scoreboard will more than pay for itself but also provide a better overall experience for all participants.
Use one of your school’s biggest investments to your advantage. Believe it or not, athletic teams are always looking for gym time, multiple times per week, to hold their practices. The demand for gym time is nowhere near the supply of gym space available. Most high school or middle school teams are finished with practice by 6 PM on most weekdays. Renting your facility for the remaining 4 hours of the evening could result in a significant revenue stream for your program. Here are some additional groups to consider for renting out your facility:
- Summer Camps/Clinics (All sports)
- 7 on 7 football tournaments
- Pre-season Jamborees (Basketball/volleyball)
- Weekly practice time (All sports)
- Charity Galas
- Professional Speakers
Idle space is one of the greatest ways to increase your athletic facility’s revenue. With reasonably inexpensive banners and other investments, it’s a no-brainer to take advantage the following popular areas of your facility where advertisements will have the most success:
- Entrance Gates
- Perimeter Fences
- Ticket Stubs
- Soccer Advertising Boards
As an add-on to a season ticket package, offering reserved parking would not only increase the overall experience and convenience of attending games but also offer an additional source of revenue. Logistically, implementing a traffic control attendant to direct members to their reserved spot would also help the flow of traffic in an area full of children. Along with the safety aspect, creating a community in the parking lot, before the game, could greatly increase the community’s comradery and support of your team. Developing your fan base always increases revenue to help grow your program. Charging an easy $30 per season for reserved parking could bring in $2,000-$3,000 in additional revenue.
Aug 24, 2016 11:00:00 AM
As we look forward to some of our jobs that are coming up this fall, the one that excites us the most is Centre College's soccer stadium. We are isntalling a 10 row 99'-4" I-beam bleacher that will have a seating capacity of 504 spectators.
Once a job is complete we usually go take some photos of the stadium to display and brag about our work. Well, this time we are going to try a different approach to showing off our work. Once Centre's soccer stadium is complete we are going to be releasing a drone flyover to showcase the completed job from a whole new perspective. We are excited to be able to share with our customers and friends this new way of displaying our work so be on the look out for it later this fall
The Toadvine Team
Jul 29, 2016 12:00:00 PM
We know you all are just as busy as we are in the summer months. You have your "to do list" to get done before school starts back. Most of our clients want us to get their projects done while kids are out of school and there are no interruptions. Well, summer is coming to end quickly and we wanted to make sure you have everything covered, and if you don't now is the time to get us on your schedule.
Our checklist is short, sweet and to the point; Have you scheduled your annual indoor/outdoor bleacher maintenance? Have you scheduled your annual basketball goal or divider curtain maintenance? Have you ordered any needed athletic equipment for fall sports? If you answered no to the first question you better call us today or you could be answering to your insurance agent on why you haven't had it done this year. Come to think of it, if you have anwered no to any of these questions you had better call us soon because your time is running out! Our fall schedule is starting to fill up and we want to make sure you we get you on our schedule.
We are here to serve you so call us today and let us know how we can help get you prepared for another great year. Whether you are needing service or equipment be sure to call us at 502-241-6010 and talk to one of our incredible sales reps.
The Toadvine Team
Jul 19, 2016 4:23:39 PM
Last month I wrote an update blog on UK's Commonwealth Stadium. We were in the midst of adding backrests to the lower bowl stadium seating. Well, I am happy to announce that we are finished!
Below is a before and after pictures of the endzone:
As I said in the last blog post, last year we installed backrests to a portion of the lower bowl, so this year, the powers that be at UK came back and asked us to outfit the remaining lower bowl with backrests. As you can see from the pictures the backrests have changed the complete look of Commonwealth Stadium.
If you would like more information on how we can help you design your next set of indoor/outdoor bleachers or have questions about athletic equipment, please call 877-211-6925 or visit our website at toadvine.com and one of our sales representatives will be happy to assist you.
Below are photos of the completed seating project at Commonwealth Stadium
Jun 9, 2016 10:34:18 AM
Here at Toadvine Enterprises we are entering our busiest time of the year. We have several indoor bleacher jobs and outdoor stadium seating jobs on schedule as well as several maintenance and inspections on athletic facilities throughout the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio.
One of the bigger jobs we have going at the moment is the addition of backrests to the lower bowl of the University of Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium. Last year we installed backrests to a portion of the lower bowl, so this year, the powers that be at UK came back and asked us to outfit the remaining lower bowl with backrests. We are excited as it will not only add comfort to the fans in attendance but also change the look of the stadium by adding more color.
We enjoy our great relationship with the University of Kentucky and look forward to many more projects with them! If you would like more information on how we can help you design your next set of bleachers or have questions about athletic equipment, please call 877-211-6925 or visit our website at toadvine.com and one of our sales representatives will be happy to assist you.
Below is an update photo from the jobsite. As you can see in the picture the sections in the far endzone are nearing completion.
May 5, 2016 12:18:27 PM
We are celebrating another completed job here at Toadvine Enterprises. We just finished Southern High School's football stadium bleachers here in Louisville Kentucky.
This project consisted of a 15 row bleacher on the home side of the field that spans 232-1/2' with a seating capacity of 1,903. The visitor's side is a 10 row 165' long bank with a seating capacity of 960. The total seating capacity for Southern High School's new bleachers is around 2,863. These bleachers also feature Dant Clayton's slip resistant deck boards to increase safety when the bleachers are wet. They also feature purple powder coated riser boards to match the school's colors.
If you get a chance to stop by Southern High School be sure to take a look at their new bleachers and let us know what you think! If you would like more information on how we can help you design your next set of bleachers or just have questions for one of our sales representatives, please call 877-211-6925 or visit our website at toadvine.com
Apr 8, 2016 12:38:57 PM
Why is bleacher maintenance and inspection important? How would bleacher maintenance help me? These are questions you might ask yourself if you are an athletic director, director of facilities, prinicipal, superintendent or maintenance supervisor. Those questions are what I hope to answer with this blog.
I enjoy breaking things down into smaller, easier to understand sections so I have broken down my 3 main reasons to have annual bleacher maintenance and inspection completed.
1. To satisfy your mandatory annual insurance inspection
Insurance companies expect you to properly maintain the equipment in which they insure for you, or else they might drop you or just raise you premiums. That is where your annual maintenance and inspection by a professional comes in to play. We as the professionals will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that you are in good shape when your insurance agent decides to stop by to do an inspection. We also provide you with a detailed preventative care sheet that will be given to you at the conclusion of each maintenance and inspection. This sheet will tell you the good, the bad and the ugly regarding your bleacher seating. It will let you know how your equipment is holding up and whether or not you are in need of additional work. This is especially nice because it keeps you informed of issues before they become an unwanted surprise.
2. Make sure you are meeting your state's adopted code
The word "code" gets thrown a lot and makes people wonder what code applies to me and how do I know if I am meeting the standards. The truth is there are several codes out there and there is no rhyme or reason to what code your specific state adopts. There are also different codes adopted by local governments as opposed to the state government and some codes have different limitation than others, it can get very confusing very quickly. The best thing for anyone to do is to find out what code has been adopted statewide and make sure you are compliant with it as it acts as a blanket code. For example the state of Tennessee goes by the International Building Code 2009 (IBC09) for their statewide code and Kentucky goes by Internatioanl Building Code 2012 (IBC12), further proving there is no pattern or reason for what version each state chooses. I say all of this to let you know there is a lot of confussion and having a professional inspect and maintain your bleachers is very important.
3. The safety of your students, families, friends and spectators
I shouldn't have to explain too much for reason number 3. It is the last reason I give for keeping up with the maintenance and inspection of your bleachers, but it is by far the most important. As an athletic director, superintendent, principal, director of faclilities or maintenance supervisor the safety of your spectators while attending events should be at the top of your list of priorities. That is why keeping up with the maintenance and inspection of your school's bleacher seating should not be an afterthought.
If you haven't talked to one of our employees about maintenance and inspection of your bleacher seating please contact us today at 502-241-6010. You can visit us online at toadvine.com or email us at email@example.com
Below is our maintenance flyer that will tell you a little more about the products that we maintain for our customers.