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Bristol Pirates, BBI Signs New Lease to Keep Baseball in Bristol

March 28, 2019 - Appalachian League (ApL) - Bristol Pirates News Release

Bristol Baseball, Inc. (BBI) announced today that it has signed a five-year lease to help the Bristol Pirates professional baseball team in the Twin Cities.

2019 marks BBI's 50th year of operating a professional baseball team in Bristol.

"With professional baseball celebrating its 150th year of existence this summer, we are proud to be able to say that, as a small non-profit entity operating without a paid staff, we have been able to provide affordable, family-friendly entertainment here in Bristol for a third of that time," noted BBI's president, Mahlon Luttrell. "BBI is unique among minor-league operators in that it relies on volunteers, and all of our volunteers look forward to continuing to provide professional baseball in town for many more years."

According to a study at East Tennessee State University, the minor league team has an annual economic impact of $2.8 million on the Bristol economy. On top of that, BBI has spent more than $600,000 improving the facilities at DeVault Memorial Stadium in Bristol, Virginia over the past quarter-century.

BBI's efforts were recognized last year by the Virginia General Assembly, which unanimously commended BBI for bringing professional baseball to Bristol for 50 years.

"Although the new lease quadruples BBI's rent, and increases our responsibilities for the ballpark and its field, we are confident that BBI will be able to continue to operate the team," he continued. "We want to thank the City of Bristol, Virginia for negotiating and approving this lease, and we'll continue to explore our options for a longer-term solution to keep professional baseball in Bristol."

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