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The Story of the Tallest Sets of Retractable Bleachers You'll Ever See

Inside the story of the tallest sets of retractable bleachers you may ever see.

Photo of the University Center's retractable bleachers at Nova Southeastern UniversityPhoto of the University Center's retractable bleachers at Nova Southeastern University

The tallest sets of retractable bleachers you may ever see give the University Center at Nova Southeastern University two things the school didn't have before - a 4,000-seat venue for competitive sports, and a multilevel, multipurpose field house. To complete the larger venue, two 24-row, 36-foot-tall bleacher units are pulled out to flank the arena's competition court. The customized bleachers, from Irwin Seating Company, begin six feet above the concourse to keep sightlines open; portable stairs thus must be rolled out from storage closets and aligned with the aisles. Retract the bleachers, and underneath you'll find two practice courts located just off the upper concourse of a 900-seat venue that can be made even more intimate through the use of movable partitions of the type found in convention centers. Architect Cannon Design of Washington, D.C., also specified nets to allow for an airier feel while the practice courts are in use, with no danger of balls bounding down onto the main court.

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