New Tampa Bay Rays Stadium Site May ‘Rays-Up” in Tampa’s Channel District

Officials may have found a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark site in Hillsborough County, but the team’s timing on a decision for a new ballpark is reportedly hinging on a few factors.

For their effort to replace Tropicana Field with a modern new facility, the Rays have been canvassing their site options in both Pinellas County and Hillsborough County. Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, is believed to be zeroing in on the Channel District-Ybor City area as the site of a new facility.

No final decision on a preferred ballpark site has been made by the Rays, and other contenders could be in the mix, but the Channel District-Ybor City area does offer a few points of intrigue. A ballpark at this location would not only put the Rays in an urban environment, but allow additional development opportunities to take place, following the recent trend that has unfolded at major league facilities such as Atlanta’s SunTrust Park. Downtown Tampa is already undergoing a huge transformation thanks to big investments from Jeff Vinik, owner of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, both in terms of arena upgrades, business investments and real-estate development.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan is cautioning that plenty of things will need to happen for Hillsborough County to land the team, but adds that the county sees an opportunity for the area. More from The Tampa Bay Times:

The officials are narrowing in on the Channel District-Ybor City area and have approached landowners about an option agreement that would secure the rights to those parcels if the Rays chose to move.

There are still moving pieces, Hagan cautioned, but “that fits perfectly in our belief that the ballpark needs to be in an urban environment. It also aligns with many of the Ray’s guiding principles for their next ballpark.”

“Our outside counsel has repeatedly said the next step is to get site control,” Hagan said. “Once we have site control we can go public and hope to have that earnest dialogue on the location and get the community feedback on the possibilities that exist there.”

The area south and east of a roundabout off Nuccio Parkway not far from the gates of Ybor City “has received a lot of attention,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said, “and I think it’s appropriate.” He wouldn’t say it was the leading site, adding there were “other potential parcels,” but said it’s walkability to downtown, space for parking and access to the TECO streetcar line are an advantage.

One factor for the Rays is apparently the current mayoral campaign in St. Petersburg, which includes incumbent Rick Kriseman as well as former mayor Rick Baker. Should Kriseman, Baker, or any other candidate in the field fail to secure at least 50 percent of the vote during the August 29 election, the top two candidates with participate in a November run-off.

Though the Rays have maintained that they have a good relationship with both Kriseman and Baker, the team apparently does not want to be seen an affecting the outcome of the election by announcing a decision by making any announcements before the election it has concluded. More from The Tampa Bay Times:

If the Rays make an announcement in a way that’s perceived to help or hurt Kriseman or Baker, it could hamper negotiations in Kriseman’s second term or Baker’s new administration.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg told the Tampa Bay Times in July that he didn’t think the outcome of the race would affect the team’s pursuit of a new ballpark.

“We’ve worked with both the mayoral candidates in the past and we’ve had good experiences with both of them at times, so that all remains to be seen,” Sternberg said.

The team has privately told Hagan the same, noting that the agreement with St. Petersburg runs until January 2019. Even if Baker opposes the Rays leaving St. Petersburg, they don’t think he can stop it, Hagan said.

In early 2016, the City of St. Petersburg signed off on an agreement that would allow the Rays to expand their search for a new ballpark. That agreement is good for three years, before it expires in early 2019.

Solar Eclipse Could Cost US Nearly $700 Million in Lost Productivity

The total solar eclipse of 2017 could cost U.S. companies nearly $700 million in lost productivity on Monday (Aug. 21) when workers pause to watch the moon block the sun.

Based an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the worker outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimates that employers could lose as much as $694 million because of the solar eclipse, which occurs during a workday, company representatives said in a statement.

Challenger arrived at its cost estimate by using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 American Time Use Survey. The company used survey data for the country’s average hourly wage data and number of full-time employed workers age 16 and higher to calculate what the lost productivity on solar eclipse day would cost if workers took 20 minutes out of their day to observe the total solar eclipse.

Andrew Challenger, vice president of the Chicago-based company, told NBC News that he estimates 87 million workers across the country will take a break to see the solar eclipse. But in the grand scheme, that potential $694 million in lost productivity isn’t a major hit.

According to NBC News, worker distractions from March Madness can reach up to $615 million per hour as employees take time out to track college basketball games, set up brackets or catch up on game highlights. And there is a benefit to companies that celebrate the eclipse together, Challenger said.

“Since this is happening over the lunch hours, the financial impact is minimal. It offers a great opportunity to boost morale. Employers could offer lunch to their staff, give instructions on how to make viewing devices, and watch together as a team,” Challenger said in his company’s statement.

In fact, Space.com’s parent company Purch is one of the many businesses doing just that.

The roof of our New York City office — the home of Space.com — will be open for employees of our sister sites (and the entire nine-floor building) to observe a partial solar eclipse. At Purch’s headquarters in Ogden, Utah, employees will head outside to experience their own partial eclipse.

“Building in time around lunch to mark the special occasion will encourage employees to interact and have something to be excited about,” Challenger said in the statement.

Visit Space.com to see the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, with a live webcast from NASA beginning at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT).

Here’s A Giant List Of Solar Eclipse Promotions

On Monday, Aug. 21, people from Oregon to South Carolina will get to experience a rare total solar eclipse, with folks outside this path still experiencing a partial eclipse. And because every notable event must be accompanied by a marketing bonanza, there is no shortage of companies offering everything from eclipse-themed appliance sales to one-day-only donuts.

We’ve rounded up some promotions and freebies that you might find interesting. If you know of other promotions that we missed, please let us know so we can update this post before the event!

Home Appliances

Frigidaire: A “blackout sale” on matte black stainless steel appliances will run from Aug. 17 to Aug. 23. The collection will be at least 30% off at participating retailers, including online.

Food

Krispy Kreme: The hot doughnut chain is celebrating the eclipse by putting a chocolate glaze on its original glazed doughnuts for the first time.

“The Chocolate Glazed Doughnut is a delicious way to experience the solar eclipse — no matter where you are — and we can’t wait for fans to try it,” the company’s chief marketing officer said in a statement, leaving people who live in places with neither Krispy Kreme shops nor a full view of the eclipse bereft.

Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers: Get a free Milky Way candy bar or pack of Eclipse gum (of course!) with any beverage purchase. (You may have to download the chain’s rewards app to get this deal; we’re waiting for clarification.)

Pizza Hut: They don’t have an eclipse special, but did make an instructional video showing how to make a pinhole eclipse viewer out of a pizza box.

Dairy Queen: From Aug. 21 to Sept. 3, you’ll be able to buy one Blizzard and get one for $0.99, which somehow involves the eclipse.

Eyewear

Warby Parker: While most places are out of the special viewing glasses you’ll need to protect your eyes during the eclipse, Warby Parker is giving them away for free at its physical stores. Or, follow these instructions to make your own pinhole projector.

Stamps

U.S. Postal Service: The USPS is selling super cool eclipse stamps. They’re the first postage stamp in this country that uses thermocromatic ink that changes the image when you touch the stamp. The moon covering the sun disappears.

Booze

José Cuervo Tequila: The brand sent along some eclipse-themed cocktail recipes, including the “Total Especial Eclipse.” Here’s how you make it, and you now have two days to locate charcoal lemonade:

2 oz Jose Cuervo Especial
2 oz orange juice
1 tsp grenadine
1/2 oz. charcoal lemonade

Shake tequila and orange juice and pour into a rocks glass over ice. Mix charcoal lemonade and grenadine and slowly pour into the cocktail.

Regional events & parties

The eclipse cuts a swath across the country from the Pacific Northwest to the coastal Southeast, so there’s no way we can include every big eclipse viewing event or post-eclipse party. But there are some handy lists out there.

• Travel Oregon has put together this roundup things to do and see in the state on Monday.

• Here’s a massive map of the 100+ events going on in and around St. Louis on the day of the eclipse.

• This page at the Charleston Post & Courier site gathers together some of the best places to celebrate after the eclipse for people visiting the last city in the path of totality.

• And USA Today has its guide to events both in and outside the path of the total eclipse.

Watch in person

By air: Private plane operators and small airlines like Million Air have packages that will take you to a remote airport to view the eclipse for $10,000, according to Bloomberg News. Even private jet companies and commercial carriers like Southwest are giving away viewing glasses to passengers on flights that might get to see the eclipse from their windows.

On the ground: The American Astronomical Society has a handy tool for looking up local events taking place along the path of the eclipse, from astronomy club meetings to community festivals and live streams.

Watch from afar

NASA: If you don’t live somewhere where the moon will completely cover the sun and/or will be stuck at your desk, NASA has you covered: It will be streaming the eclipse from a weather-proof vantage point above the clouds. The space agency expects up to a billion people to watch.

The Weather Channel: Another option for watching the eclipse will be on The Weather Channel, which will be broadcasting live from seven locations across the country.

SolarEdge: If you’re wondering who is seeing the eclispe right now, solar energy systems company SolarEdge is also offering a stream that will show you the path of the eclipse and how it’s affecting solar energy systems.

Say What? St. Petersburg Bowl Renamed Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl…

In a possible attempt to go down in history among the worst bowl names, the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl has been renamed the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, reports college football reporter Brett McMurphy.

The game will remain in St. Petersburg, according to the report, and is scheduled to be played at Tropicana Field on Dec. 21 featuring teams from the American Athletic, Atlantic Coast Conference or Conference USA.

A previous name of the St. Petersburg was the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.

The sponsorship by Bad Boy Mowers is interesting as Tropiciana Field is equipped with Shaw Sports Turf and has never had natural grass installed in the facility.

Gasparilla is an annual pirate festival that has been held in Tampa for the past century.

Bad Boy Movers, based in Batesville, Arkansas, is also the new title sponsor for the Battle 4 Atlantis college basketball tournament in the Bahamas.

Can’t stop, won’t stop for Bad Boy Mowers.

How Millennials Are Killing Businesses and Things We Love

With smartphones in their hands and bloodlust in their hearts, millennials are dealing death blows to businesses, products, and even concepts right and left — at least, according to Twitter.

According to analysis released Monday by Brandwatch, users have tweeted that “millennials are killing” something over 1,500 times since the beginning of 2017. Topping the list of millennial victims is “chain(s),” which presumably refers to chain stores and restaurants, at a little over 450 mentions. Famous chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebees also receive specific shoutouts.

And can it be mere coincidence that Nasdaq published an article advising stockholders to sell their shares in Buffalo Wild Wings on Tuesday, the day after this Twitter data was compiled and released?

This reporter thinks not.

According to these rankings, millennials are also killing diamonds, malls, and lunch. Brandwatch touches on the reason for this in their analysis: “It would be great to buy homes or eat out every night but financial hardship means they can’t.” Millennials are not in the market for diamonds because millennials sometimes spend an extra five minutes in CVS wondering if body wash is actuallyworth it.

Beer also comes in surprisingly high on the list of things that millennials are killing, due to both their preference for wine and their search for “quality, authenticity, and new experiences” outside of large beer brands like Anheuser-Busch and Pabst.

And, by the way, millennials are killing this stuff, too

In the past couple years, the millennial generation has been accused of killing off the entire golf industry, the concept of work/life balance, traditional marketing tactics like focus groups, and dinner dates.

But there’s more: millennials also have blood on their hands regarding paper napkinsrunning for sportbars of soapin-person conversations, sex, marriage, monogamy, “safe sex,” and cheating on one’s spouse.

Millennials also reportedly hate vacations, wine bottles they can’t twist open, like Philistines, the oil industry, traditionally owning a carHarley-Davidson bikeslife insurancefabric softenerthe lotterycerealcable channelsBig Macs, and cruise ships. Oh, and the generation also hates guns that aren’t in video games and hiring a good old-fashioned stripper for their buddy’s bachelor party.

But, ultimately, as most analysis concludes, this millennial murder spree is nothing new — it’s just the market talking, baby! And as millennials come of age and begin earning their own capital, it’s about time that companies start listening.

Amazon Introduces Instant Pickup for Faster Deliveries

Amazon has begun a small rollout for their “Instant Pickup” initiative that sees consumers picking up orders within two minutes of their purchase. The service is available on five college campuses in LA, Atlanta, Columbus, OH and College Park, MD, and is expecting to expand to neighborhood spots within cities by the end of the year.

The initiative comes to deliver items to customers who order via Amazon at even short wait times. Items for sale include phone chargers, snacks, drinks, and the like which sell at high volume from the delivery site.

Instant Pickup’s products are picked by Amazon employees on site at the pickup points and delivered to the lockers similar to The Hub, an alternative delivery service by Amazon for apartments. The recent acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon could also prove to be useful for the Instant Pickup roll out.

Crabby Bill’s on Clearwater Beach Sports Fresh New Look

After serving 17 years as a popular local restaurant, it became apparent to the owners of Crabby’s Dockside (or Crabby Bill’s) and the City of Clearwater that the restaurant needed a fresh new look. Crabby’s provided the winning architectural proposal in a competition to the City of Clearwater to build a new restaurant and renew a 30-year lease.3 The old building, a converted gas station dating back to the 1970s, was demolished to make room for a new building and plaza designed by Klar and Klar Architects.2 Klar and Klar Architects and interior designers worked together with Crabby’s team to create a modern design which includes three stories providing three separate and unique dining experiences. On March 31, 2017, Crabby’s reopened with a unique open, colorful, and airy look.

Klar and Klar Architects’ award-winning coastal designs complement the upbeat beach environment. “We wanted to create a piece of architecture that was exemplary of the current trends happening on Clearwater Beach,” says Steve Klar, principal architect and co-founder of Klar and Klar Architects. “Crabby’s custom architecture creates a seamless experience for the beach crowd where they can fully enjoy all the beauty and tranquility the beach environment has to offer.”

The new Crabby Bill’s includes a third-floor protected rooftop deck with some of the most spectacular panoramic views of Clearwater Beach.3 An outside bar area and sidewalk seating on the first floor were designed to accommodate more casual beachgoers.2 For Clearwater’s hot summer days, the second story offers air conditioning dining with floor-to-ceiling windows installed to offer gorgeous views while beating the heat.2

Since the design has been completed, Crabby Bill’s has been immensely busy as both locals and tourists clamor for fresh seafood in a beautiful setting. “We’re glad we could artistically contribute to the development of the local coastal aesthetic and allow the new architecture to bring people to this tried and true family spot,” Klar added. “As the new Crabby’s is the first building you see when approaching the roundabout on Clearwater Beach, it was important to highlight both the modern nature of redesigned Clearwater Beach and the natural beauty of the gulf coast.”

Klar and Klar Architects is dedicated to providing unique, contemporary, organic architectural design to the Tampa Bay Area in order to inject life and improve the culture of the bay communities. Their buildings are designed to sustain the test of time and improve the visually built environment and culture of the area.

Since 2001, Crabby Bill’s in Clearwater Beach has been serving quality seafood at its 37 Causeway Boulevard location. Crabby Bill’s in Clearwater Beach is currently managed by Prime Cost Management Group.2 The company manages three Crabby’s locations, including Crabby Bill’s Clearwater Beach, Crabby’s Bar & Grill and Crabby Bill’s St. Cloud.2

Restaurant Jobs Are the New Factory Jobs

Donald Trump’s ideal economy is defined by brawn. He praises steelworkers, speaks wistfully of coal mining, and tweets boastfully about new manufacturing factories. But 200 days into his presidency, the most promising sector of the U.S. labor market isn’t steel-plating. It’s dinner-plating.

Restaurant jobs are on fire in 2017, growing faster than health care, construction, or manufacturing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls this subsector “food services and drinking places,” and the jobs are mostly at sit-down restaurants, which make up 50 percent of the category. Fast-food joints are the next-largest employer in the category, with 37 percent. Bars—wonderful, plentiful, but leanly staffed—account for just 3 percent. So, I’m just going to keep saying “restaurants” for short.

In some metros, restaurants are powering the entire economy. More than a third of Cleveland’s new jobs since 2015 are in restaurants, according to EMSI data. The same is true for New Orleans, but since 2010.

Unlike mining or manufacturing, which tends to cluster in a handful of regions, the restaurant boom is spread across the country. New fine-dining restaurants, which tend to require more waitstaff, are blooming in all the predictable places—San Francisco, Nashville, and Austin (the Texas capital leads the country in percent-growth of restaurant jobs). But restaurants are dominating local economies in a diverse range of places, from poor metros like Little Rock, to rich places like Washington, D.C., and military hubs like Virginia Beach.

How did this happen? As Justin Fox points out, the trend didn’t appear overnight. For the past three decades, restaurants have steadily grown, as part of the most fundamental shift in American work—from making things to serving people. Between 1990 and 2008, 98 percent of new jobs came from so-called “nontradable” industries that aren’t sensitive to international trade, according to the economist Michael Spence.

In 1990, manufacturing was almost three times larger than the food-service industry. But restaurants have gradually closed the gap. At current rates of growth, more people will work at restaurants than in manufacturing in 2020. This mirrors the shift in consumer spending. Restaurants’ share of America’s food budget has doubled from 25 percent in the 1950s to 50 percent today.

The phenomenon is speeding up. Four of the five best years for restaurant growth on record have happened since 2011. Restaurant jobs have grown faster than the overall economy every month since August 2010. (That’s more than 200 consecutive months!) It’s not just a redundant artifact of the service-sector economy, either. Almost every month between 1996 and 2000—years when job creation soared in a booming economy—restaurant jobs grew slower than the rest of the labor market.

The trend is speeding up, but it’s not clear that we should cheer it—or whether it’s sustainable. Jobs are jobs, but these ones don’t pay very well. The typical private-sector job pays about $22 an hour. The typical restaurant job pays about $12.50. That’s one reason why the Fight for 15 movement to raise the minimum wage has targeted the restaurant industry. What’s more, although it might feel like a golden age of restaurants in America, the truth is that the United States might have too many restaurants, particularly “family-casual” chains like Applebee’s, which have struggled to keep up with rising labor costs.

But the most important feature of the restaurant-jobs boom is not what it may say about the future, but rather the fact that it is happening in the first place. Trump and other politicians often say they want to help the common worker. But then they talk about the economy as if it were cryogenically frozen sometime around 1957. The U.S. still makes stuff, but mostly it serves stuff. To help American workers, it helps to begin with an honest accounting of what Americans actually do.

Buying Your Groceries Online Can Curb Impulse Buying & Ultimately Weight Gain

For people who just can’t seem to pass up the candy in a supermarket checkout line, perhaps grocery shopping online could help reduce these impulse purchases, a new study suggests.

In the study, college students who were asked to shop for groceries online made similar food choices to one another, regardless of how impulsive the individuals were.

The findings are preliminary, and more research is needed to confirm the results, but the study suggests that online grocery shopping could help people stick to a healthy diet, said lead study author Jaime Coffino, a public health researcher at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Previous research shows that people who are more impulsive may be less healthy than less impulsive people, Coffino told Live Science. In a grocery store, that impulsiveness could lead to a shopping cart filled with junk food.

The new study looked at 60 college students who filled out questionnaires that assessed their levels of impulsiveness as well as how they respond to the presence of food. The students were then told they had $48.50 for grocery shopping, and were asked to fill an online shopping cart with “nutritious, affordable and tasty” foods.

When Coffino calculated the nutritional value of all the food in each person’s online shopping cart, she found that there was no link between the foods a person chose and how impulsive the person was.

“It didn’t matter how impulsive a person was,” Coffino said. “The nutritional outcomes didn’t vary.”

Online grocery shopping could one day serve as a type of dietary intervention, Coffino said. Often, when people buy groceries online, they need to search for each item they want, as opposed to strolling through a store and saying, for example, “Oh, those chips look good.” Online, more planning and thought is needed. In addition, online grocery shopping makes people more aware of how much money they’re spending, which could deter them from adding impulsive picks to their carts, Coffino said.

She noted that the study has limitations — for example, no control group was used — and much more research is needed. Future studies could compare online grocery shopping to in-store grocery shopping, she said.

The findings were presented here Aug. 4 at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting. The research is part of a larger study that looks at how public health researchers can use online grocery shopping as a tool to encourage healthy eating. The findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Bitcoin is Now Worth Nearly Three Times the Price of Gold

Gold is often seen as an investment “safe-haven” due to the long term stability of the commodity. It is also often used as a standard by which to compare cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin. Many of the leading cryptocurrency’s major milestones have been viewed in terms of their comparison to gold.

The latest numbers are truly staggering. The price of Bitcoin reached a high today of over $3,400 (at the time of writing it stands at a similarly impressive $3,390.66), while the price of an ounce of gold is $1,260.40. This leaves Bitcoin at nearly triple the price of gold, renewing speculations about the ability of Bitcoin to become a substitute for gold.

This is great news considering the tumultuous recent history of Bitcoin that resulted in a much-dreaded splitting point for the currency. Still, Bitcoin has never been stronger in spite of (or perhaps thanks to) the upheaval.

Bitcoin also enjoyed some significant gains this weekend, crossing $3,200 for the first time in history.

Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, are enjoying an uptick in public visibility, which is undoubtedly fortifying the impressive gains being made. It will be interesting to see how meteoric the rise of Bitcoin will continue to be.