The odds of Charlotte landing Amazon.com’s second headquarters are less than a tenth of the acceptance rate of an elite university like Harvard.
The online retailer last month asked cities to put in bids to host a second home outside Seattle, a $5 billion project that could add up to 50,000 jobs over a few decades. And on Monday, the company said it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America by last week’s deadline.
Charlotte officials submitted the city’s proposal last week in a custom-made wooden box containing materials made by Charlotte companies, letters from influential figures such as Michael Jordan, and promotional materials touting the area’s advantages, such as its cost of living and its airport.
Amazon didn’t indicate Monday that it is any closer to narrowing down its list of 238 options.
But the sheer number of applicants underscores the intense competition for the new campus. After Amazon announced its search for a second headquarters in September, cities across North America scrambled to put together their own proposals.
Media reports had indicated that roughly 100 metro areas had submitted bids.
Elsewhere in North Carolina, Raleigh/Durham, the Triad and Hickory also submitted bids. The North Carolina Department of Commerce has said it will equally support proposals from all cities in the state. The official date to find out whether cities made the shortlist is Dec. 1, but officials could know sooner if they make the cut.