With more than 200 proposed locations for Amazon’s second headquarters, there’s plenty of uncertainty over what city the company will choose.
But according to Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, a clear favorite has emerged in the race, and they think the world’s largest Internet retailer has Georgia on its mind.
Paddy Power has made Atlanta a 2-1 favorite in the race for the facility known as HQ2, putting them far ahead of the other suitors the betting firm is taking wagers on through their online sportsbook. Other top picks include Austin (11-4), Philadelphia (7-1), Boston (8-1), and Toronto (9-1).
HQ2 Could Provide Massive Economic Boost Locally
The incredible level of interest in Amazon’s expansion plans is mostly driven by the economic impact that HQ2 will provide to the city that lands the headquarters. The facility could provide as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs, and could provide a huge stimulus for the local economy.
“Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said when he announced that the company would take bids for the new headquarters.
Interestingly, Paddy Power has chosen Atlanta as the favorite despite the fact that Georgia state officials have been quiet about the details of the bid they submitted to Amazon. However, officials did say that it was the most attractive bid the state has ever made in an effort to attract a corporation.
“I’m highly confident that this is the most aggressive economic attraction package that the state of Georgia has ever put forward,” Atlanta Major Kasim Reed told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “From the city side, we have never put what we’ve put on the table, today, in front of any other company in the history of the city.”
Analysts Think Austin Could Be Best Fit
Paddy Power may currently have Austin ranked as a close second choice in their betting odds, but others see them as the favorite. Moody’s Analytics looked at 65 major cities and found that given Amazon’s requirements, the Texas city was the best fit for the company.
“Austin has a much lower cost of living than places such as Silicon Valley,” wrote Moody’s analysts. “Anecdotally, the quality of life is high, and many want to live in the ‘Silicon Hills.’ Further, being in Texas, Austin resides in a business-friendly state that seeks to attract and keep companies.”
Moody’s did rank Atlanta and Philadelphia second and third in their analysis, closely mirroring the Paddy Power odds. Perhaps surprisingly, Rochester, NY ranked fourth in the Moody’s report, which may explain why the comparatively small metro area is among Paddy Power’s favorites at 10-1.
Not all bettors want to put their money down on the favorites though, and the bookmaker has also listed some rather unlikely contenders among their betting options. Irish bettors who want a local option can support Dublin at 50-1, while the Canadian cities of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Melbourne, Quebec are the longest shots on the board at 100-1.