Calgary's odds to land Amazon HQ2 improve while Edmonton still 'dark horse'
Paddy Power gives Calgary 18 to 1 odds to land second headquarters; Edmonton sits at 100 to 1
The bidding war between North American cities vying for Amazon's second headquarters continues — and while one Alberta city is a long shot, another is quickly moving up in the rankings.
Edmonton's odds of landing the marketplace juggernaut's business are 100 to 1, while Calgary's odds are now 18 to 1 — a dramatic increase from the 66 to 1 it was initially ranked at.
The odds are made by Irish betting company Paddy Power, which is known for taking bets on unusual events.
Calgary is Canada's second-most popular destination, sitting just behind Toronto, which is at 16 to 1, according to the betting company.
"Calgary is a real climber for us in the last two months," Lee Price, the head of public relations for Paddy Power, told Radio Active Friday.
The new odds give Calgary about an eight per cent chance of landing the headquarters, he said.
Vancouver is at 50 to 1, Ottawa at 80 to 1 and Halifax and Edmonton are both at 100 to 1. The hamlet of Lac La Biche didn't make the list.
Price said Edmonton's odds remain low mostly because no one knows what incentives they've offered Amazon to coax them north of the border.
"You guys haven't really offered to say anything. It's very secretive there," Price said.
But that might actually work to the advantage of those putting money on Alberta's capital.
"I think it makes you dark horses because no one knows what you've offered," he said. But, Price said, it's perhaps just he who thinks that.
"Maybe it's worth betting on you guys, but no one has yet."
The favourites continue to be Austin, Texas and Atlanta, Ga., both with 3 to 1 odds. Price said the mathematicians who make the odds figure the headquarters will go to an eastern U.S. city with a major airport.
But Price said just because the oddsmakers think the headquarters is likely to go to those two U.S. cities doesn't mean it will — as much as he'd like to say Paddy Power has that kind of influence.
"I'd love to think we were that powerful but I think it's just a bit of fun," Price said.