How Wide are Stadium Seats: The Standards to Follow

How Wide are Stadium Seats The Standards to Follow
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There are no specific measurements in terms of how wide are stadium seats. Not to mention the fact that there are only generalizations for the width space. But this is one important thing to note, especially for those who are planning to build or buy stadium seats.

Why? Because that is where your audience will sit. If you cannot accommodate everyone, then why bother right?

In this article, we are going to discuss how wide are stadium seats. We are also going to list down the standards in order to determine the proper space for seating.

How Wide are Stadium Seats: The General Guidelines

Here are some factors to consider in determining the measurements of the stadium seats. Along with these standards are some general measurements for the seats.

Element Protection

Your venue can be a hall or an open area. With this in mind, you should then be able to deduce some situations that might happen. Will you be doing fireworks? What type of performance is going to be done? Will there be rain? Is it windy? How many people will be attending?

Definitely, you have to note these things as these will affect how you will arrange the stadium seats, and at the same time, how big or small they should be.

For closed spaces, the width of the chairs can range from 18 in. to 24 in. However the most commonly used ones are 20 in., 21 in., and 22 in.

Seating Type

This refers not to the seat per se, but the type of seating that that particular space offers. Are you a VIP? Is it general admission? Are these stadium seats located in an enclosed suite?

Obviously, the seats in the VIP area have widths that will truly make someone feel comfortable. The specific measurement cannot be determined, but these seats sometimes have panels to put food on top of, armrests, and pockets.

In comparison, the seats in a sports stadium where there is general admission fall under 18 inches with some stadium seats even falling below that.

Prescribed Dress Code

Why is this even being considered? It is just clothes, right? However, this actually plays a huge role in determining the width of stadium seats. The reason behind this is the styles of the clothes that the audience will wear also take space in the seat.

Imagine a theater gala held in an opera house. It is expected that the guests will be wearing gowns and tuxedos. If you have an 18-inch seat, you do not have enough space for them to sit comfortably. So, for those places, the seats usually have extra two to three inches as a buffer for space that one’s dress or whatever accessory may take up.

Other Factors that Affect the Width of Stadium Seats

  • Legroom: For general sports stadiums, leg room is not given importance. Therefore the extra space is given to the width of the seat. This is done mostly to accommodate people of all shapes and sizes. You will find 19 in. to 20 in. seats here.
  • Seat arrangement: Are the seats enclosed in an arc? Are they just straight out looking downwards? For seats that are just parallel to one angle, they have bigger widths than the ones that are arranged to form an arc. This is because the width of the seats should be smaller to make way for the circumference or odd shape of a circle.
  • Presence of adjustable backrests: The backrests form part of the measurement of the width. If you have an adjustable one, technically you can count the space in the leaning position as part of the overall width.
  • Spacing of rows: This is important to note in relation to your free width space at the back. For gymnasiums or lecture halls, the width at the back does not have any allowance. For concert halls or theaters, you have a bit of breathing room.
  • Seating capacity: The bigger the seating capacity, the smaller the width space for the seat. A simple formula to know the seating capacity is Rows x Length x Inches / Personal Space = Seating Capacity


These factors and more affect the width of the stadium seats. But keep in mind to stay within the general measurement of 18 in. to 24 in. From these measurements alone, it is now easier to tweak them if you need bigger or smaller seats for a specific event.

Furthermore, this width space is important to know because it is directly proportional to the level of comfort of your audience. If you have seats that will not fit them, then they will not bother coming at all. With this, you should always remember to provide alternatives to the limited width space, like extending the leg room or allowances to the spaces of the rows.

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