Here are the favorites for Amazon's second headquarters
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Here are the favorites for Amazon’s second headquarters


Atlanta is the clear favorite in Amazon's Headquarter Hunger Games.
Atlanta is the clear favorite in Amazon’s Headquarter Hunger Games.

Image: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

As Amazon’s Hunger Games-esque trial to choose the site of its second North American headquarters drags on, a few cities have emerged as clear favorites.

A new report from Sperling’s Best Places compiles speculation from media outlets, research firms, and brokerages into a definitive ranking of the metropolitan areas most likely to be graced with Amazon’s presence.

Based on that information, Atlanta is the clear leader of the pack, with Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. close behind.

Amazon collected 238 proposals from cities and municipalities across the continent last month after it turned its search for a second stateside base into a contest of sorts. Since then, shameless local leaders have bent over backwards to woo the online shopping giant, even going so far as to sync iconic skyscraper lights with the company’s branding or propose a stadium in its honor.

Such attention-grabbing spectacles aren’t likely to go far towards persuading Amazon in the long run. The company has said it plans to make its final decision based on data around a few key preferences. Those criteria include a metro population of 1 million or more, an international airport within 45 minutes, public transportation, a university pipeline with strong tech programs, and a local culture that matches Amazon’s own.

Most of the sources from which the latest report pulls take these factors into account. Below is the full list of averaged rankings for each city (the lower the better). 

Based on those requirements, it’s easy to see why Atlanta is a favorite. The 5.7-million-strong population area is home to renowned colleges like Georgia Tech and Emory University and a fast-growing tech scene that could provide the talent needed to fill some of the estimated 50,000 jobs Amazon claims the facility will bring.

Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. boast world-class educational institutions, burgeoning tech scenes, and solid public transportation infrastructure as well. 

Washington D.C. would also be a convenient choice for CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post and recently bought the biggest house in the city. The move would also support the company’s recent efforts to beef up its lobbying sway in the nation’s capital.

The contest is still anybody’s game, though, and the consensus is a lot less definitive after the first few top choices. 

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November 16, 2017
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