Skip to Content

How Cities Are Handling Amazon’s HQ2 Rejection

Rejection is never easy. But some of the cities that failed to make Amazon’s HQ2 finalist list handled the rejection better than others.

Amazon announced Thursday 20 finalists for its second headquarters —a list that was whittled down from 238 bids across North America. The current nominees include 19 metropolitan areas across the United States and just one in Canada such as Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Nashville, Newark, and New York City. Toronto is the only Canadian city that made the cut.

Here’s how some of the rejected Amazon HQ2 cities are reacting.

So You’re Saying I Have A Chance

Birmingham, Alabama, which sent Amazon flirty and factual tweets in an effort to woo the e-commerce giant, is still holding out hope.

The city also offered best wishes to the remaining cities.

Hey, It’s Gonna Be OK

Others tried to look on the bright side, like Kansas City and Detroit.

Detroit’s mayor Mike Duggan issued a statement, which he also posted on Twitter. Duggan thanked all those who worked on the bid and committed to seeking out other projects that would help boost the city.

Humor Helps

Some used the rejection as a chance to poke fun at their own cities for failing to make the cut because hey, laughter really is the best medicine.

The Rochester Red Wings tweeted back in October that the baseball team would change its name for a night if the city in New York state was picked. The team’s response Thursday: “Apparently Mr. Bezos wasn’t impressed.”

Canadian cities also joined in the fun. Winnipeg sent out a tweet stating that they have a backup plan (“Here’s looking at you Google”).

I Need a Minute, Please

Others went straight to the grieving process, like Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown who expressed disappointment in Amazon’s decision.

Others, like Houston’s mayor just let someone else’s sentiments speak for him through a retweet.

Texas’ Harris County Sheriff also expressed disappointment, specifically “I’m bummed.” But he also said he’s now rooting for two Texas cities that did make the final cut: Austin and Dallas.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire state Sen. Jeff Woodburn criticized the governor for a lackluster bid. “It was a missed opportunity…we wish it was a more serious proposal where it wasn’t just him saying ‘Boston is bad place,” Woodburn said.

We Will Not Be Stopped

And others, like Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh used the rejection as call to further action. In her tweet, she said “Amazon’s decision will not slow our pursuit of a strong growth agenda for Baltimore.”