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Rays secure winningest season in history, home-field advantage

The hits keep coming for the Tampa Bay Rays, both literally and figuratively. After beating the Houston Astros 7-0 at Minute Maid Park Wednesday night, the Rays are officially the top team in the American League. Their 98th win of the season also surpassed their previous record of 97, set back in 2008. The win also guarantees the playoffs will start in St. Petersburg, and the Rays will enjoy home-field advantage through at least the first two rounds. This is the third time the Rays have claimed the AL’s No. 1 seed, and they are the first team to do so in consecutive seasons since the 2011-2012 New York Yankees.  

Rays drop plan to advertise split seasons in Montreal

A sign promoting split seasons between the Tampa Bay and Montreal will not adorn a Tropicana Field wall during the playoffs after all. On Tuesday, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg announced his change of heart and issued an apology to fans and the Tampa Bay community. Sternberg announced his plan for the sign on Saturday, and fans voiced their displeasure in the following days. Sternberg said he was wrong to take the focus away from the American League East champion Rays and their pursuit of a second consecutive World Series appearance. The Rays are still exploring a split-season approach to play in St. Petersburg and Montreal when their lease with Tropicana Field expires in 2028.

Tickets for Enchant Christmas on sale Thursday

Tickets go on sale Thursday for the second annual appearance of Enchant Christmas at Tropicana Field in St. Pete. The immersive holiday-season light maze and "Magical Night Sky," which will "emulate the Northern Lights by animating thousands of synchronized lights shimmering and dancing across the stadium dome into a blanketed starry night." Enchanted Christmas will take over the Trop from Nov. 28 to Jan. 2. General admission tickets are available here.

Deadline approaches for Startup of the Year

This is an opportunity for early-stage startups to join the 2021 Startup of the Year worldwide community. Startups that have raised less than $5 million in funding and have a functional prototype are encouraged to apply. Startups can receive up to $50,000 in potential cash and prizes. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30. Those interested in applying can find more information here. 

Rays plan to unveil new signage promoting split season with Montreal

Rays President Matt Silverman announced the team would be unveiling new signage against the back wall at Tropicana Field during the postseason, touting a split season between Tampa Bay and Montreal. “We’re going to add a sign in the rightfield foul territory with a very simple Tampa Bay Montreal graphic,” Silverman said during a This Week in Rays Baseball podcast show that aired on Saturday. "We want that visible symbol of our plan and our excitement for it. It will mark the effort subtly and keep the focus on winning.”

Sold-out Dead & Company show cancelled

The sold-out Oct. 7 concert by Dead & Company, with John Mayer and surviving members of the Grateful Dead, has been cancelled. The Mid-Florida Credit Union performance, as well as the Oct. 6 show in West Palm Beach, were scrubbed due to "routing issues." The tour continues with an Oct. 11 concert in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Pinellas County could pay employees to receive vaccinations

In response to as much as a third of some county department’s employees missing work due to Covid, Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton has asked the county commission to offer incentives of $750 to employees who are vaccinated. The estimated $4 million cost of the program would be funded by American Rescue Plan Act dollars. Neighboring Hillsborough and Pasco Counties have already implemented similar plans, and Burton said it is the best way to increase vaccination numbers without a mandate. The county commission will vote on the measure at an upcoming meeting, and if it is approved, county employees would receive the bonus by the end of the year.

Frontier Airlines adds new nonstops from Tampa

Denver-based, low-fare carrier Frontier Airlines (NASDAQ: ULCC) will launch five new nonstop routes from Tampa International Airport to Bloomington, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; Green Bay, Wisconsin; New York-LaGuardia and Rochester, New York. The flights to New York start on Nov. 30 while the other new nonstops start in December. Frontier is offering introductory fares starting at $39. 

Pinellas seeks input on first Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan

According to a press release Tuesday, Pinellas County is now seeking residents’ ideas and top concerns regarding the development of the county’s first Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan. The first of two public input surveys are now available at sustainability.pinellas.gov/survey. The survey is open through Oct. 26, and the county is requesting feedback from residents of all backgrounds. The Sustainability and Resiliency action plan will address the unique environmental, social, and economic challenges of Pinellas County.

Neil deGrasse Tyson to speak at Tampa’s Straz Center

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts Monday, Nov. 15. Tickets for the 8 p.m. event, "Astronomy Bizarre," are $48 here.

Mega business conference returns in Tampa and will feature execs from Tampa Bay Lightning, Buddy Brew and more

The South Tampa Chamber of Commerce will host a Back to Biz Expo on Oct. 6, which is one of the largest networking events of the year for entrepreneurs. Chief Strategy and Operations Officer at United Way Suncoast Bemtra Simmons will be a keynote speaker. Entrepreneurs including Angela Lanza with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jeffrey Kamis with PDQ, Dave Ward with Buddy Brew Coffee, Valda Conyat with medical marijuana distributor Trulieve, and other local business leaders will participate in the conference. The event will take place at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC at 522 N. Howard Ave.

The largest satellite manufacturing facility in the world will be built in Florida

 Terran Orbital, one of the world's leading providers and innovators of satellites, will build a $300 million commercial spacecraft and constellation facility on the Space Coast. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the news Monday morning during a press conference at Space Florida. DeSantis said it will bring more than 2,000 jobs to the state, with an estimated annual salary of $84,000 by the fourth quarter of 2025. Terran Orbital's new facility will be located at Space Florida's launch and landing facility. He said this will be the largest satellite manufacturing facility in the world.

The St. Pete Catalyst

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