WELSH, Gregory, Brent (81 Harslett Crescent, Beverley Park, NSW 2217, AU)
1. A stadium seat assembly comprising a seat able to be mounted in a generally horizontal configuration and a backrest extending generally upwardly from said seat, said backrest having a front surface adapted to support the spine of a first person sitting in the seat and a rear surface which, in use, faces a second person sitting in a row behind, wherein said rear facing surface includes an electrically activated advertising display.
2. The stadium seat assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said backrest is pivotable between a substantially vertical use position and a substantially horizontal standby position in which said rear surface faces upwardly, and wherein said rear surface includes at least one solar cell electrically connected with said display to power same.
3. The stadium seat assembly as claimed in claim 2 wherein said assembly includes a battery connected to, and rechargeable by, said cell.
4. The stadium seat assembly as claimed in claim 3 including a regulator circuit interposed between said battery and said cell to thereby prevent overcharging of said cell.
5. The stadium seat assembly as claimed in claim 2 or 3 wherein a tilt switch means interconnects said display and said battery whereby said battery only powers said display with said backrest in said use position.
6. The stadium seat assembly as claimed in any one of claims 1-5 wherein said advertising display includes at least one light emitting diode.
7. The stadium seat assembly as claimed in any one of claims 1-6 wherein said backrest is substantially the same size as said seat and substantially covers same in said standby position.
8. A stadium seat assembly substantially as herein described with reference to the drawings.
9. A row of stadium seats formed from a plurality of stadium seat assemblies as claimed in any one of claims 1-8.
10. A stadium incorporating a plurality of rows of stadium seats as claimed in claim 9.
Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to furniture and, in particular, to seating for stadia.
Stadium seating constitutes a substantial market segment of the overall seating market because of the large numbers of seats installed in a stadium, typically 30,000-100,000. As a consequence, the stadium seating market is very competitive. In addition, the sporting public which fill such stadia are receptive to new marketing ideas and therefore there is continual pressure to provide new and/or additional features to make stadia more attractive to the sporting public.
Furthermore, each stadium is effectively in competition with other nearby stadia for the staging of games and other events which provide the main source of stadia revenue. The second source of stadia revenue is advertising revenues.
Genesis of the Invention
The genesis of the present invention is a desire to provide an additional feature to each stadium seat which enables increased advertising revenue to be achieved for the stadium as a whole.
Summary of the Invention
In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a stadium seat assembly comprising a seat able to be mounted in a generally horizontal configuration and a backrest extending generally upwardly from said seat, said backrest having a front surface adapted to support the spine of a first person sitting in the seat and a rear surface which, in use, faces a second person sitting in a row behind, wherein said rear facing surface includes an electrically activated advertising display.
In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a row of stadium seats each of which is formed from the above-mentioned stadium seat assembly. According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a stadium having a plurality of rows of stadium seats as above.
Brief Description of the Drawings
A preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a schematic perspective view of two rows of stadium seats,
Fig. 2 is a schematic circuit diagram illustrating the electronic components installed in the backrest of the seats of Fig. 1, and
Fig. 3 is an enlarged perspective view from the rear of the stadium seat of the preferred embodiment.
As seen Fig. 1, a stadium 1 is provided with a plurality of tiers 2 each of which is formed by a tread 4 and a riser 5. Mounted on each of the treads 4 are a plurality of seat assemblies 10 arranged in a row. Each of the seat assemblies 10 is formed from a seat 11 and a backrest 12 which are interconnected by means of two pivots 14. As a consequence, the backrest 12 is able to be pivoted between a use position in which the backrest 12 is substantially vertical, and a standby position in which the backrest 12 is substantially horizontal.
Preferably the size of the seat 11 and the size of the backrest 12 are substantially the same, so that when the backrest 12 is in the standby position, the backrest 12 covers the seat 11. Furthermore, the seat assembly 10 is preferably fabricated from robust and durable plastics material such as polypropylene so that in the standby position the seat assembly 10 can be trod on by spectators to the stadium 1 without breaking the seat assemblies 10. Such a seat assembly is known from Australian Design Registration No 107 474.
As seen in Figs 1 & 3, the backrest 12 is provided with an advertising display 20 and a solar cell S. It will be apparent that with the backrest 12 in the standby position, the solar cell S faces upwardly and thereby receives sunlight which is incident on the backrest 12. When the backrest 12 is moved into the use position, the advertising display 20 is readily visible by a person occupying adjacent seats in the row immediately behind.
Turning now to Fig. 2, located within the backrest 12 is an electric circuit which takes the form of the solar cell S which is connected via a regulator R to a battery B which therefore enables the solar cell S to charge the battery B, however, the regulator R prevents the battery B being over charged. The battery B is connected to at least one, and preferably an array of, light emitting diodes L which illuminate the transparent or translucent screen 23 of the advertising display 20. A tilt switch T interconnects the battery B and the light emitting diodes L with the consequence that the light emitting diodes L are turned on when the backrest is moved into the use position, but are turned off when the backrest 12 is moved into the standby position. In this way the energy stored in the battery B is not wasted when there are no patrons at the stadium 1.
The foregoing arrangement has the substantial advantage of providing an advertising mechanism at relatively low cost. By exchanging screens 23 the nature of the advertisement can be changed. Furthermore, the screens 23 can be illuminated without any visible wires being present which may be attacked by vandals. Similarly, the entire arrangement is low voltage and thus does not represent an electric shock hazard to the persons sitting in the seat assemblies 10. In addition, the entire advertising display and its electric circuit can be assembled in the factory of the furniture manufacturer and the seat assemblies 10 installed without the use of skilled labour such as electricians at the stadium site. Such seat assemblies 10 are also easily able to be retro-fitted to existing stadia without the need to supply expensive wiring for conventional mains power illumination of advertising displays. Since stadia are used, say, weekly and several days normally elapse between consecutive games or matches, this allows plenty of time for the batteries B to be re-charged between games, even in the event of cloudy weather or rain. The foregoing describes only one embodiment of the present invention and modifications, obvious to those skilled in the furniture arts, can be made thereto without departing from the scope of the present invention.
The term "comprising" (and its grammatical variations) as used herein is used in the inclusive sense of "including" or "having" and not in the exclusive sense of "consisting only of.