BRADENTON -- It gradually got sunnier Tuesday in the stands at McKechnie Field.
Crews from All Steel Consultants in Palmetto began removing the roof and steel support structures on the first- and third-base sides of the venerable field. A recent maintenance assessment found rust in steel beams, and officials from the city and Pittsburgh Pirates, the stadium tenant, deemed the roofs unsafe.
The work closed a portion of Ninth Street West and caused the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates’ high Single-A affiliate, to move scheduled home games Wednesday and today to Port Charlotte.
Marauders fan Brad Myers has season tickets on the third-base side and hopes the roofs are replaced soon.
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“Well, I’m glad they are taking care of the structure issues with the roof, but it was nice to have that shade on the third-base side. ... I know last season I spent a lot of time under those roofs,” he said.
The team hopes McKechnie Field will be ready in time for Saturday’s home game against Charlotte, but the roofs may not be replaced until the season ends.