GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Oct. 23, 2013 – What does it take to win the World Series? Maybe having American Seating chairs in your stadium.
The Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park and the St. Louis Cardinal’s Busch Stadium have American Seating chairs. So do the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the other teams in the recent Playoffs.
“In the last decade, most World Series champions have had American Seating chairs. We like to joke that if you want to get to the World Series, your team should have our seats,” said Fritz Owen, American Seating’s national sales manager for sports and entertainment.
American Seating was founded as Grand Rapids School Furniture in 1886, inventing the first-ever student-desk-chair combination. The company expanded into transportation and other seating products.
“If you’ve ever ridden in a bus, sat in a desk, enjoyed a performance or been to a ballpark, chances are you’ve sat in a seat made by American Seating,” Owen said.
The company’s products are in more than half of the Major League Baseball parks, as well as dozens of other famous sports venues.
The company makes its products in the same location on the northwest side of Grand Rapids as it did in 1886.American Seating has been in sports seating since 1912, with its first installation at the famous Fenway Park in Boston. In 2002, the Red Sox organization began a 10-year renovation of the entire park. American Seating was a part of it.
“We renovated the original seats – the last remaining wooden seats in any Major League sports facility in the U.S. – in a very detailed process in which we removed the seats, shipped them back to our facility in Grand Rapids, refurbished them, shipped them back to Boston, and reinstalled them,” Owen said.
Fenway Park’s new seats were made with the classic look – but roomier to fit the modern fan. Many new seats are now 21-22 inches wide, up from the traditional 16-18 inches.
Ironically, tickets to sporting events – especially games like the Playoffs and World Series – can cost far more than the actual seat, which is around $130!