NBA all-star Michael Jordan wants Amazon to put its much-vaunted second headquarters (HQ2) in Charlotte, N.C.
The former University of North Carolina and Chicago Bulls superstar put his pitch in a letter to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos last week, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Jordan owns the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets franchise and has deep roots in the state, having grown up in Wilmington, N.C. and attended UNC. The Observer quoted Fred Whitfield, president of the Hornets, who spoke about Jordan’s letter on Friday. The letter will be included in Charlotte’s official bid for HQ2, he said.
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Charlotte has a lot going for it, including a bustling international airport and proximity to numerous interstate roads. It is also headquarters to Bank of America, among other big businesses.
But the state has seen its share of political anxiety over the past year with the former governor signing a controversial bathroom bill, which mandated that transgender people use the restrooms matching the biological sex on their birth certificates. A new Democratic governor rescinded that bill, but the scars linger.
In September, Amazon announced plans to build a second headquarters outside Seattle and solicited proposals from cities that could meet certain criteria, including proximity to airports, major highways, and mass transit. In a statement at the time, Bezos said, “We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters.” Amazon says it has put $38 billion into Seattle’s economy between 2010 and 2016.
Amazon (AMZN) has said it will invest up to $5 billion in a new facility that could employ up to 40,000 people.
That sparked a frenzy with cities including Boston, Chicago, and Toronto. Much closer to home, Tacoma, Wash., which is about 30 miles from Seattle, unveiled its attempt to win the HQ2 pick a few days ago.
Some bids are more surprising than others. Last week, the city of Stonecrest, Ga., for example, moved to rename part of itself Amazon, in a bid to attract HQ2.
Bids are due October 19.