When you watch soccer games on television, you tend to spot a lot of interesting things.
This is true especially if you’re paying close attention to what you see in the background.
For example, as the cameras pan to the players sat on the substitutes bench or the coaches sat in the technical area, you’ll notice something quite peculiar about the seats that they rest on.
These seats look exactly like the ones you’d find installed in a racing car!
And that therefore begs the question…
Why would a soccer player be sat in a racing car seat if they’re not involved in any sort of competitive driving or rally sport?
Well, the answer is actually quite straightforward.
Soccer benches present in stadiums have racing car seats to make players feel more comfortable when they are sat watching the game. These seats are designed extremely well – providing ample back alignment and neck support for these athletes – along with the fact that they come with internal heating mechanisms that keep players warm.
To get the full picture to the question in the title of this article, you’re definitely going to have to read along!
Reasons why soccer stadiums have fitted racing seats for team benches
Soccer players get paid a lot of money to perform, and a lot of expenses go towards other aspects of their lives like their training regimen and their diet.
You can say that these professionals get coddled to some extent, but for good reason.
After all, the clubs that employ them want to ensure that they’re in the best possible condition to be able to perform when they step on to the pitch.
There’s usually a lot of money on the line for teams, especially with regard to how high up one finishes in the league standings and how far they progress in cup competitions.
So, racing car seats for top athletes don’t even sound like too big of a deal upon reflection!
Now, here are some reasons why soccer benches come with this sort of seating.
1. To make players feel comfortable
A standard soccer game played in a professional division is 90 minutes in length.
That’s a considerable amount of time to be sat on a chair that isn’t comfortable, right?
Once you add up other factors like soccer referees adding time for various stoppages in play that occur, you’re probably looking at a duration of 100 minutes in total if you account for each half.
And that doesn’t even take extra time into consideration!
So, for a player who isn’t called upon by the manager to replace a starting team mate through a substitution, it could be a long wait.
If stadiums were fitted with the sort of seats that fans in the stands have access to, then players could easily pick up discomforts and injuries brought about by the strain of sitting on something that doesn’t have enough cushioning.
The science backs this up as well, with sitting for a long time on a hard seat known to put pressure on the body in form of things like back aches and neck sprains.
Another thing is that poor posture in an inadequately cushioned seat can cause further issues for players like deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Ultimately, the racing car seats serve a very good purpose in that they keep players in good health even when they’re sat down for almost the entire duration of games.
And a direct benefit of that is players won’t be coming off of the bench with stiff legs from having been sat on an uncomfortable chair.
2. Internal warming features
If you’ve ever been in a soccer stadium before, then you’ll know that temperatures can drop to really cold levels.
Soccer players largely live a life of luxury, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that clubs will facilitate their comfort even further by ensuring that the seats they rest on at the substitutes bench and technical area have internal heating.
Players are kept warm whilst they watch the game, and the heating really comes in handy during the winter months of the soccer season when showers and snow days are the norm.
For any reasonably high-level professional soccer team, the cost of incorporating heating features into the seats at the home stadium is marginal, especially when you consider the revenues that these clubs generate every year.
3. Sponsorship display
Finally, soccer clubs install these racing-type seats on the substitute benches in the stadium for sponsorship reasons.
It’s the same motive for having sponsor logos on soccer club jerseys, because these organizations are always looking for ways to generate significant income.
Brands pay a handsome fee to teams for such sponsorship, as they get access to a humongous-sized audience consisting of television viewers around the globe.
Picture an English Premier League fixture for example.
When a viewer from Australia or Canada is able to see a Chevrolet or Audi logo on the racing seat that Manchester United’s Jadon Sancho is sat on, the possibilities for attracting sales and positive brand recognition from different customer demographics skyrocket.
Which companies manufacture these “racing seats” for soccer clubs?
There are a couple of outfits that produce these seats for established soccer teams within Europe.
One of these is a brand called Recaro.
They are an old automotive supplier (founded in 1906) and a large part of their core business involves the supply of stadium seats.
Although in the last hundred years the company has managed to diversify its product line to include things like airline seats and even office chairs.
Funnily enough, Recaro started making stadium seats by chance.
On their website they recount the story of where they gifted one of their seats to the coach of the 1. FC Koln as a joke in 1995. The players of that team obviously wanted in on the fun and soon the whole players’ bench had comfortable seats just like the manger!
And from there, the rest is history!
Conversely, there are other companies which specialize in the production of such seating, like Audi and Sparco.
And that brings us to the end of this post on why soccer benches have racing seats.
You’ll have learnt quite a bit about the game from reading this, especially with regard to the fact that clubs prioritize player comfort and wellbeing through such seating.
In addition to that, this post also revealed that sponsorship deals play a part in these seats being made available within soccer stadiums, as clubs are able to generate a good source of revenue by negotiating deals with famous brands – allowing them to plaster their logos on these chairs.
Should you want to learn more about optimal seating within a soccer stadium, feel free to read through our other article on what the best seats are for a soccer game.