Michael Jordan to Jeff Bezos: Pick Charlotte

Michael Jordan to Jeff Bezos: Pick Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Katherine Peralta/ The Charlotte Observer) - Michael Jordan would like to see Amazon pick Charlotte as its home for its second headquarters.

Earlier this week, the Charlotte Hornets owner wrote a letter to Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos and other executives urging them to consider Charlotte as the site for the facility, which would employ up to 50,000. The letter will be included in Charlotte's official bid for the $5 billion campus, for which Amazon launched a national search last month.

Speaking to media gathered at the dedication of the renovated Tuckaseegee Park Friday afternoon, Hornets President Fred Whitfield said that Jordan emphasized some of the unique elements that set Charlotte apart – the airport, parks, arts, sports teams, a vibrant uptown, weather and quality of life.

"It's a great, great city, and one that we love. We're trying to encourage great companies like Amazon to consider us," Whitfield said.

Amazon has said its second headquarters would be "a full equal" to its headquarters in Seattle. Experts have pointed to Charlotte's relatively low cost of living, fast-growing population and location as particularly beneficial. The Charlotte Chamber and Charlotte Regional Partnership are organizing Charlotte's bid, and proposals are due Oct. 19.

Whitfield spoke as Hornets players and coaches joined volunteers from Lowe's for a basketball clinic at the park for area children. The Hornets announced plans last year to renovate basketball courts at Tuckaseegee, Latta Park and Camp Green Park to show the league's commitment to the city.

"From the day he bought our team and brought our organization under his leadership, (Jordan) made a commitment to Charlotte that he was going to be heavily engaged in the community and we as his employees would be committed to the city," Whitfield said. "We're not doing it because we have to."

Lowe's, which Jordan called "an unbelievable partner" during a short speech before the unveiling, is a longtime sponsor of the Hornets. Volunteers from the Mooresville home-improvement retailer helped with construction at Tuckaseegee, and will do Camp Green Park as well.