The Bristol Pirates begin a crucial Appalachian League series against the Johnson City Cardinals today at 6:30 p.m. and they will do so with fewer seats and without one of their best players.

The club announced on Tuesday that the concrete bleachers located beyond the reserved seating section directly behind home plate will not be available for spectators.

The concrete structure behind the first-base dugout was closed on June 28 due to damage.

“We continue to hope that the City soon will do the necessary maintenance to ensure that all of those bleachers provide a safe place for our fans to sit,” BriBucs president/general manager Mahlon Luttrell said in a press release. “In the meantime, we want to encourage fans to either sit in the third-base bleachers or bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on the hill behind third base. We will also do our best to accommodate fans in any available chair back seats.”

Bristol (11-9) is tied with Elizabethton (11-9) for second place in the Appy League’s West Division. Johnson City (11-8) leads by 1/2 a game.

The Pirates will be without the services of outfielder Brendt Citta, who was promoted to the West Virginia Black Bears of the short-season advanced New York-Penn League on Tuesday.

Citta was in his second season with the BriBucs and the former University of Kansas star was hitting .262 with two home runs and a team-high 15 RBIs.

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