Amazon Names 20 Finalist Cities for HQ2 Thunderdome

Photo: Getty

After what felt like five years of mayoral begging and media gimmicks, we finally know the top 20 finalists in the brutal battle for Amazon’s second headquarters. The cities are about as predictable as you’d think. Basically, all the big ones.

Here they are, and among them, there can be only one winner, as the rest cannot survive Amazon’s Thunderdome or the wrath of a fearsome, fire-breathing Jeff Bezos:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York City, NY
  • Northern Virginia, VA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington DC

Noticeably absent from the list are many cities on the West Coast. There is only Los Angeles and no mention of big tech hubs around Silicon Valley. However, if you consider that part of Amazon’s mission in building a second headquarters some distance away from its original Seattle headquarters, this is isn’t surprising. What’s sort of curious, though, is that three of the top 20 “cities”—Montgomery County in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington DC—are basically all the same metropolitan area. Also, raise a fist for the sole Canadian city on the list, Toronto. (Sorry Mexico City.)


So which city has the grit, determination, and creatively welded weapons to win in Amazon’s HQ2 Thunderdome? Let us know in the comments.

Correction 9:40am EST: An earlier version of this post mistakenly said there were no cities on the West Coast. Los Angeles is on the West Coast. The language has been updated to reflect this.


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Adam Clark Estes

Senior editor at Gizmodo.

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