Title:
Bleacher lumbar support
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lumbar support which forms a commercial grade seat with a bleacher plank, can be retrofitted to any stadium bleacher plank easily, to conform with minimum aisle egress clearance requirements of building safety codes and to provide comfortable seating to the patrons of the stadium.



Inventors:
Suprina, Scott (Commack, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/283408
Publication Date:
06/22/2006
Filing Date:
11/18/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C15/00; A47C1/16; A47C11/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALFRED M. WALKER (MELVILLE, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bleacher stadium seat module comprising: an ergonomic lumbar support affixed to a bleacher seating plank.

2. A bleacher stadium seat module as in claim 1 wherein said lumbar support includes having tapered sides and a hollowed rear indentation.

3. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 1, further comprising said lumbar support having a pair of forward facing struts on each side thereof.

4. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 3 wherein said forward facing struts are affixed to said bleacher seating plank.

5. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 1, wherein the lumbar support module is sized to provide clearance space.

6. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 1, wherein said tapered sides provide sitting space.

7. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 2, wherein the hollowed indentation provides sitting space.

8. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 1, wherein the lumbar support module has at least one brace to permanently affix the lumbar support module.

9. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 8, wherein the lumbar support has at least one indented advertisement holder.

10. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 8, wherein the lumbar support has at least one space forming at least one hole as at least one advertisement holder or seat number.

11. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 8, wherein the lumbar support module further comprises at least one armrest module adjacent to said lumbar support.

12. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 8, wherein the lumbar support module further comprises at least one support component.

13. A bleacher stadium seat module comprising a lumbar support with tapered sides and a hollowed rear indentation therein and at least one brace permanently affixable thereto, said lumbar support affixable to a horizontal bleacher seating plank, said combination of said lumbar support and said bleacher seating plank providing at least twelve inch aisle egress clearance when aligned in at least a 24 or 26 inch row to row spacing.

14. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 13, wherein the lumbar support portion is ergonomically formed.

15. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 14, wherein the lumbar support portion is custom sized.

16. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 13, wherein the lumbar support portion is individually, permanently affixed to said bleacher seating plank.

17. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 13 wherein said lumbar support further comprises a pair of forward facing struts on each side thereof.

18. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 17 wherein said forward facing struts are affixed to said bleacher plank.

19. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 13, wherein the lumbar support has at least one indented advertisement holder.

20. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 13, wherein the lumbar support has at least one space forming at least one hole as at least one advertisement holder or seat number.

21. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 13, wherein the lumbar support portion further comprises at least one armrest module adjacent thereto.

22. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 13, wherein the lumbar support module further comprises at least one support component.

23. A bleacher stadium seat module for a bleacher stadium seating arrangement, wherein said bleacher stadium seating arrangement includes a plurality of backless seating planks supported upon a plurality of stanchions, each stanchion comprising a respective vertically oriented riser portion for each said backless seat, each stanchion separated by a horizontal support deck, each said backless seat having a minimum predetermined horizontal clearance distance of at least 24 or 26 inches between rows of adjacent seats having an aisle egress clearance of at least twelve inches in front of and behind each said backless seat sufficient for patrons of the bleacher stadium seating arrangement to have egress therefrom without the risk of encroaching upon the clearance space between said respective seats, said bleacher stadium seat module comprising a lumbar support having at least one brace permanently affixable to said lumbar support to provide said minimum predetermined horizontal clearance distance when installed in industry standard 24 or 26 inch rows.

24. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 23, wherein the lumbar support module is ergonomically formed.

25. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 24, wherein the lumbar support module is custom sized.

26. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 23, wherein the lumbar support module is individually, permanently affixed to said bleacher seating plank.

27. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 23, wherein the lumbar support has at least one indented advertisement holder.

28. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 23, wherein the lumbar support has at least one space forming at least one hole as at least one advertisement holder.

29. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 23, wherein the lumbar support module further comprises at least one armrest module.

30. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 23, wherein the lumbar support module further comprises at least one support component.

31. A bleacher stadium seat module as in claim 23, wherein the lumbar support includes tapered sides.

32. A bleacher stadium seat module as in claim 23 wherein the lumbar support includes a hollowed indentation.

33. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 23 wherein said lumbar support further comprises a pair of forward facing struts on each side thereof.

34. A bleacher stadium seat module of claim 33 wherein said forward facing struts are affixed to said bleacher seating plank.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of earlier filed pending patent application Ser. No. 10/441,354 filed on May 20, 2003, claims priority in part thereof under 35 USC 120, and incorporates the subject matter thereof by reference. This application also claims the benefit under 25 USC 119(e) of provisional application Ser. No. 60/629,021 filed on Nov. 18, 2004 and incorporates same by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The disclosure relates to an improved stadium lumbar support mounted upon a bleacher plank, which is ergonomically designed to meet building code standards requiring minimum clearance between seats in front and behind each other.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sports stadiums typically have bleacher or bench seats, rather than the individual seats found in theatres. Bleachers are standardly made of long, plank-shaped metal or plastic materials and older bleachers were formed of long wooden planks. These bleachers typically lack upright lumbar supports, although some may include stiff, narrow boards as makeshift lumbar supports. Patrons are often expected to sit for great lengths of time during an event, and they become uncomfortable because of the strain that can result to their upper and lower back. Bleacher planks are frequently also used as spectator walkways and steps through the stadium and patrons may slip on the bleacher seating plank itself or on another patron, which can cause injuries.

Permanently affixed outdoor amphitheater seats are known in the art, however these seats are designed to have a large clearance area which poses safety and comfort issues for the using patron and the surrounding patrons.

Portable stadium seats are known in the art and may be purchased and carried into the stadium by the patrons. The portable seats are pre-formed in dimensions which may not allow the patron enough open space between the other patrons around him or allow someone to walk by that patron or his/her seat safely, thereby causing a safety hazard.

A commonly used design is a foldable seat having a seat portion and a lumbar support that are foldably connected. A hook or hooks may be located on the seat portion to engage the bleacher seating and (loosely) secure the seat to the bleacher plank. The seat portion may include a single hook, or two hooks, as set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 2,509,420 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,066,980. Some problems with these designs include the size of the hook. The hook openings must properly match the thickness of the bleacher seating plank to engage it safely or the seat will shift and slip during use, causing discomfort and possible injury to the patron. Portable seats may fit the bleachers of one stadium safely but are not adjustable to engage the bleachers of additional stadium and therefore do not provide multiple use and convenience to the patrons.

In addition, many portable seats lack adequately secured lumbar supports, and these lumbar supports may become lose in transit, or in use, especially in a crowded stadium with the feet of other patrons directly behind the lumbar support or patrons walking by the lumbar support of the seat. Some designs include a hook under the seat to engage a loop on the lumbar support, or to engage the lumbar support itself. However, those designs typically fail to securely hold the lumbar support to the plank and the lumbar supports may fall off entirely.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an advantageous object of the present invention to provide a seat made up with an upwardly extending lumbar support mounted to a flat stadium bleacher plank, which is both ergonomically comfortable and addresses necessary safety factors.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a lumbar support module which forms a commercial grade seat, when an upright lumbar support is retrofitted to any stadium bleacher plank, which easily provides comfortable seating to the patrons of the stadium. The lumbar support module conforms to building safety codes, which requires minimum twelve inch aisle clearance between seats in front of, and behind, each other, including where 24 or 26-inch row depths are used. For example, a minimum twelve inch walking aisle clearance is required between seats, as measured from the back of a first seat including the lumbar support on a bleacher seating plank to the front of the seat on a bleacher seating plank behind a first seat, as required by the Boca National Building Code, section 1013.5.2, entitled “Row Width” and the NFPA Life Safety Code, section 8-2.7.7.2 under the heading “Aisle Accessways Serving Seating Not At Tables”.

The definition of the “lumbar support” is a generally upright, curved member, which supports the lumbar region of a patron sitting at the lumbar support module upon a bleacher plank functioning as a sitting area. However, it is known that the lumbar support is not necessarily limited to only supporting the lumbar region of a patron's back. It can also encompass the mid-back thoracic region as well.

The lumbar support is ergonomically formed and can be custom sized as desired to meet safety requirements. The lumbar support is individually, permanently affixed to provide clearance space for traffic flow. The lumbar support is formed to also provide additional leg/knee space for patrons seated near the lumbar support module formed by the upright lumbar support and the horizontally extending bleacher plank.

Lumbar supports are mounted upon a conventional bleacher plank, which acts as the seat sitting region. Each lumbar support does not extend beyond the front to back depth of each bleacher plank upon which it is mounted, so that there is a minimal aisle egress clearance of at least twelve inches in front of, and behind, each bleacher plank. This permits the stadium to have bleacher seats in conformity with building codes requiring a minimum of twelve inch aisle egress clearance.

Despite the compact front to back depth, the bleacher seat modules formed by the combination of the upright lumbar support upon the conventional bleacher plank are ergonomically comfortable to sit in at a sporting event.

Each bleacher seat module, formed by the lumbar support and a portion of the bleacher plank of the stadium seating system, is spaced apart from its respective floor panel deck by the fixed height and separated by adjacent forward or rearward bleacher lumbar supports by a predetermined horizontal distance, wherein the fixed height and fixed horizontal distance define a volume between each bleacher lumbar support module seat and its respective floor deck upon which patrons walk.

This volume in front of or behind each seat thus formed, exceeds a minimal localized volume conforming to a theoretical volume defined by a building code minimal horizontal bleacher seat separation aisle egress clearance between said adjacent bleacher lumbar supports extending in a horizontal direction. The volume formed by a predetermined height and a minimal horizontal distance form a minimal localized volume, conforming to a theoretical volume defined by a building code minimal separation egress distances between said adjacent bleacher seats backs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention can best be understood in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is noted that the invention is not limited to the precise embodiments shown in drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a preferred embodiment for the lumbar support seat module, showing the lumbar support having an optional arm rest, an optional pair of forward facing struts and an optional location to insert advertisements, with the lumbar support module being code compliant due to the minimum spacing used in the industry;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the lumbar support module permanently affixed to a portion of a stadium bleacher plank, which, when combined, provide clearance space for aisle egress and traffic flow according to the building codes for seat rows and industry standard of 24 or 26 inch spacing;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the lumbar support module;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the optional armrest; and,

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the lumbar support module used with a bleachers seating plank in a bleachers stand configuration depicting the industry standard of minimum row-to-row clearance.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As shown in FIGS. 1-5, the present disclosure relates to a lumbar support module 1 including a combination of a discrete lumbar support 3 affixed to a bleacher seating plank 2. The combined seating module 1 may be used in a stadium setting and on existing bleacher risers and stanchions. This lumbar support 3 is permanent, rather than portable, and is not easily removed or shifted. As a permanently affixed lumbar support, it discourages hazards associated with walking on bleachers or using bleacher seat planks as steps or stairs.

With respect to walkways directly behind it, as shown in FIG. 5, the stadium seating module 1 formed by lumbar support 3 mounted upon bleacher plank 2 is designed to have at least a twelve-inch clearance of its perimeters from back (or rear, as it is referred to in the industry) of the seating module 1 to the front of the seating directly behind it in the following row. This minimum twelve inch aisle clearance allows safe and convenient use where other patrons can pass by without tripping or falling. Building safety codes require that the seat allow at least twelve inches, from front and behind it, of clearance space for rapid egress of patrons to walk between bleachers, which is imperative in a crowded stadium setting for traffic flow.

The lumbar support modules 1 include upright lumbar supports 3, which are permanently affixed to the bleacher seating planks 2, to ensure that the requirements and spacing of the safety codes are met or exceeded. The combination of the lumbar support 3 in combination with a portion of the horizontally extending bleacher plank 2, forms lumbar support seat module 1. This lumbar support seat module 1 is advantageously designed to optionally include an effective brace 4, that can be changed and locked on to different bleacher materials and thickness. The brace 4 is covered to prevent removal of the lumbar support module. This improvement allows gradual upgrades to be made to the stadium without losing use of the stadium or canceling events.

These lumbar support modules 1, formed by the mounting of lumbar supports 3 to bleacher plank 2, now allow a stadium to be upgraded to provide additional safety and comfort without rebuilding entire sub-structure of the stadium. In a preferred embodiment, clearance of at least 24 or 26 inches from the front or leading edge of a first bleacher seating plank 2 to the front edge or a second bleacher seating plank 2, located behind the first bleacher seating plank 2 in a row pattern, provides at least a twelve inch aisle egress clearance between the bleacher planks, and the seats formed thereon, in compliance with industry standards. With mounting of the upright lumbar support 3 upon bleacher plank 2, the minimum twelve inch aisle clearance is achieved.

These ergonomically designed contoured lumbar supports 3 dramatically increase comfort to the patrons. The lumbar support 3 also provides tapered side recesses 8 or rear indentations 10 to allow space and clearance room for the knees of a patron sitting behind that seating module 1. Additionally, the lumbar support module 1 may include at least one separate armrest module 6 to be located between two adjacent seat modules 1, which may be installed at the same time as the installation of the lumbar support 3 to the bleacher plank 2, or at a later time.

The lumbar support 3 includes an upper area space 5 which may exist as a through-hole extending entirely through the lumbar support 3 or as an indentation. In either embodiment, the space 5 may hold a logo, an advertisement, a commemorative plaque, and/or a seat number, and the like.

FIG. 1 also shows an optional enlarged radius R2 of the upper thoracic region of lumbar support 3 as compared to the radius R1 of the lower, lumbar portion of lumbar support 3. This is an ergonomic feature to provide better fit in a small seat. For example, the smaller radius R1 more closely fits the lower lumbar region of the sitting patron. However, the larger radius R2 of the upper thoracic region allows the shoulder blades of the user to stretch naturally rearward without undue forward pressure. The larger radius R2 flattens the upper thoracic region when compared to the more concave lumbar region of lumbar support 3.

FIG. 1 also shows optional imaginary dashed axis line “A” extending through an optional kidney shaped hole 15 in the lumbar support 3, allowing for flexing of the upper thoracic portion of the lumbar support 3 while keeping the lower portion of the lumbar support 3 less flexible and more rigid for strength of the lumbar support 3 and comfort of the occupant of the bleacher seat;

The lumbar support 3 may be formed of any durable material or composite such as a hard plastic, a thermoplastic and the like. The lumbar support 3 can be formed of a fire resistant material to hence its safety features. The material may also be highly ultraviolet (UV) resistant and stable.

The lumbar support 3 may be formed by any convenient method such as molding and the like. In one embodiment, the lumbar support 3 may be air-molded. In one embodiment, a thermoplastic material may be combined with a fire resistant component to form the lumbar support 3. In another embodiment, the lumbar support 3 may be blow molded or injection molded. In yet another embodiment, the lumbar support 3 materials may also include components that impart coloration to seat designation, team logos, or decoration, UV resistance, weather resistance, and/or fire resistance. The lumbar support 3 may have the form of a double wall or a single wall design. The lumbar support 3, when in use, allows some rear tilt for comfort which will return to vertical when unoccupied to comply with egress spacing requirement. The lumbar support 3 is formed in an ergonomic design to support lumbar region and promote comfort by reducing or eliminating stress and strain to the upper and lower back. The lumbar support 3 is formed to also include forward facing struts 8 on each side to enhance the comfort and stability of the patron. The struts 8 rest on the surface of the bleacher plank 2 and may also serve as a location to permanently affix the lumbar support 3 to the bleacher plank 2 via fasteners, such as bolts, screws and the like.

The lumbar support 3 can be custom attached to plank 2 to ensure that the clearance of at least twelve inches, and in a preferred embodiment the seat formed by the combination of the lumbar support 3 mounted upon bleacher plank 2, allows twelve inch aisle egress spacing within the confines of 24 or 26 inch row spacing, to comply with industry standards, where at least twelve inch aisle egress clearance is measured from the front of the bleacher plank 2 to the back of another bleacher seat plank 2 in a following or preceding row. This ensures that the lumbar support module 1 is within building safety codes of at least twelve inches of walking/egress/traffic flow space for seats in a row. Alternatively, the front-to-back dimensions/measurements may be referred to as depth dimensions/measurements.

The lumbar support 3 includes a hollowed design to allow maximum leg room to patrons surrounding seats. The ergonomic lumbar support 3 design may include space 10 formed behind the patron contact surface of the lumbar support 3 for the comfort of the legs and knees of the patron sitting behind the lumbar support 3. The sides 12 of the lumbar support 3 may be tapered to allow additional knee/leg room for surrounding patrons as well.

The lumbar support 3 can accommodate attachment to any existing bleacher seating plank, whether the bleacher seating plank is formed of wood, metals, concrete, or the like, and regardless of thickness. The lumbar support 3 optionally includes braces 4 or brackets which may be formed as a contiguous part of the lumbar support 3, or may be fixedly attached to the lumbar support 3 in any permanent fashion. The braces 4 allow an individual lumbar support 3 to be separately and individually affixed to a bleacher seating plank 2, while ensuring that code requirements and measurements are met.

Each lumbar support 3 can be adjusted individually and independently of other lumbar supports 3 mounted upon bleacher plank 2. Therefore, patron seat spacing is fully adjustable, as desired or necessary to provide safe traffic flow and egress from the stadium stands. The seating space can easily be adjusted for comfort or to increase or decrease overall seating capacity in a given row. This allows uniform placement between bleachers for safe entrance and exist of patrons walking though the clearance space between the back of a bleacher or seats on a bleacher seating plank 2 and the dimensions establish at least the minimum predetermined clearance between consecutive bleachers.

Included as an option in the lumbar support 3 is at least one hollow space 5 accommodating a pop-in sponsorship plate suitable for corporate or team ID or which is personally donated by a scholastic or collegiate sport Booster club member. The optional oval, round, or square space may exist as a space entirely through the upright lumbar and thoracic support, or as an indentation. In either embodiment, the space may hold an inserted advertisement, a corporate sponsorship plate, a commemorative plaque, and/or a seat number, and the like. The space may also be formed in any other shape that is easily repeated by the inserted advertisement and the like, and may have holographic or lenticular images thereon.

Support components (not shown) may also be used when installing the lumbar support 3 which expands and allow an increase in the bearing width of the pre-existing bleacher to securely support the bleacher seat module. An armrest 6 be added to the plank as a separate and independent module, and are formed separately of the lumbar support 3. Advantageously, the armrests 6 can be purchased and installed at a later time as an upgrade to the lumbar support 3, or at initial installation. The armrest 6 can attach to the bleacher plank 2 independently from the lumbar support 3, which allows gradual upgrades of the stadium seating or a portion of it, as desired. The armrest 6 is designed to comply with building code egress space requirements and not interfere with traffic flow. Cup-holders may also be included in the armrest 6.

It will be appreciated that the disclosed bleacher seat modules 1 formed by the mounting of lumbar supports 3 upon bleacher plank 2 are a great advantage over the art that is currently known in this area because the bleacher seat modules 1, allow immediate and comfortable seats, while conforming to building safety codes requiring at least twelve inch aisle egress clearance between rows of bleacher planks. The disclosed bleacher seats 1 thus formed allow any stadium to enhance and upgrade it's seating, gradually if desired, while continuing to use the stadium to its fullest extent.

The dimensions establish at least the minimum predetermined clearance between consecutive bleacher seating units. The thickness dimensions of the lumbar supports 3 can be included and encompassed in the clearance measurements, to establish minimum predetermined clearance for safety.

The lumbar supports 3 may be custom sized, when desired to ensure code clearance and industry standard, in older and/or unusually designed stadiums.

It will be appreciated that the disclosed lumbar support 3 is a great advantage over the art that is currently known in this area because the lumbar support 3 with bleacher plank 2 allows immediate and comfortable conformation with the building safety codes of at least twelve inch clearance and in a preferred embodiment, a 24 or 26 inch row spacing may be used to comply with bleacher industry standard. The disclosed lumbar support 3 allows any stadium to enhance and upgrade it's seating, gradually if desired, while continuing to use the stadium to its fullest extent. The lumbar support 3 may be permanently affixed to the bleacher planks of any material, to ensure required safety clearance spaces, unlike the portable seats of the prior art which are wide and encroach into the safety egress space as required by building codes, and also require removal and storage when not in use.

For example, in a bleacher stadium seating arrangement a plurality of backless bleacher seat planks are supported upon a plurality of stanchions. Each stanchion includes a respective vertically oriented riser portion for each backless bleacher seat and each stanchion is separated from adjacent stanchions by a horizontal support deck. Each backless bleacher seat has a minimum predetermined horizontal clearance distance between adjacent backless bleacher seats, which are positioned in front of and behind each backless bleacher seat. The minimum predetermined horizontal clearance distance between adjacent backless bleacher seats is sufficient for patrons of the bleacher stadium seating arrangement to have safe egress therefrom, without the risk of encroaching upon the predetermined horizontal clearance distance space in the walking space between the respective minimum predetermined horizontal clearance distance between adjacent backless bleacher seats. In a preferred embodiment, the horizontal clearance distance between adjacent backless bleacher seats may be at least 12 inches which is an industry standard.

Therefore, lumbar support 3 has at least one brace 4 permanently affixable to the lumbar support 3, so as to provide minimum predetermined horizontal clearance distance between adjacent lumbar support modules 3 in front of, and behind, each other while having positioned upon the backless stadium bleacher seat planks.

The lumbar support 3 creates a commercial grade seat that can be permanently retrofit to a plank of a bleacher bench system quickly and easily. The seat formed by the lumbar support 3 in combination with the pre-existing bleacher seating plank 2 is designed so as not to interfere with required egress by building and fire safety codes, or with the 24 or 26 inch row spacing of industry standards, and afford its user the comfort of an ergonomic lumbar support 3. A minimal clearance space is provided between the lumbar support 3 when permanently affixed to bleacher seat planks 2 (wherein the front to back distance “SP” between respective lumbar support 3 is twelve inches or greater in compliance with the codes and preferably designed to function within a 24 or 26 inch row “CL”, which is the industry standard). The rear hollow indentation 10 of lumbar support 3 allows for maximum leg room. Tapered sides 12 of each lumbar support 3 allow for knee room for the spectator sitting in the adjacent and surrounding seats. The lumbar support 3 has a lower support 4 accommodating attachment of the lumbar support 3 to any existing bleacher plank, be it wood, aluminum or concrete. Spacing between lumbar support modules 3 is fully adjustable by virtue of adjusting space between the sides of adjacent lumbar support 3. This allows uniform placement on an existing row length of the bleacher plank 2 and in a preferred embodiment also allow controlled ticket capacity.

The optional armrest 6 is completely independent of each lumbar support 3, and is capable of being purchased and installed at the same time or as an upgrade to the unit. This feature is currently not available with any other seating system. The armrest 6 attaches to substrata, such as a bleacher plank, independent of the lumbar support 3. The armrest 6 is configured to comply with egress space and not interfere with traffic flow.

The lumbar support 3 is preferably made as one piece and optionally includes one or more drain holes, to allow usage indoors or out without water collection. The lumbar support 3 may be formed as a double wall blow molded base design or a single side lumbar support, which allows some rear tilt for comfort when in use, and will return to a vertical orientation when unoccupied, thereby complying with minimum twelve inch egress spacing requirements “SP”, complying with the 24 or 26 inch row spacing “CL” as the industry standard.

The lumbar support 3 is ergonomically designed to support lumbar region and promote comfort. By virtue of separating the ability to purchase armrests 6 and lumbar support 3 independently, the present invention is a modular system that can be built upon year after year. Cupholders may be provided that will add to an armrest module.

While FIG. 5 shows a lumbar support 3 extending up through part of the lumbar region of the occupant, it is anticipated that optional versions will extend up to the thoracic region as well.

The bleacher seating system includes a support expansion component that allows an increased bearing width of existing bench seats to securely support a new lumbar support 3. For example, for a 9½ inch aluminum seat plank 2 there is supplied a 2 inch×1¾ inch aluminum angle for connection to a bench plank 2 to support fully the new lumbar support 3. Similar supports may be provided for 2×10 inch wood planks, etc.

The lumbar support 3 of the present invention is not a portable or retail product. It is not easily removed or brought to a game. It is permanent and complies with code. It discourages hazards associated with walking on seats. It dramatically increases comfort. It makes gradual upgrade possible without loss of use of the system in general. It allows a seating system client, for the first time, to upgrade backless bleacher seats, and preferably complying with twelve inch minimum aisle egress pathways between rows of standard 24 or 26 inch row spacing “CL”, to the comfort of a seat with a lumbar support, without rebuilding the entire stadium bleacher seating arrangement sub-structure or removing any existing bleachers. Additionally, the lumbar supports can be easily removed or replaced from the bleacher planks, individually, as necessary.

The following examples are intended to illustrate but not limit the invention. While they are typical of those that might be used, other procedures known to those skilled in the art may alternatively be used.