Preceding today's news that Amazon has narrowed down the list of potential cities for establishing a second headquarters — and San Diego is not among them — Forbes magazine had an astonishing item in its January 16 issue.
The article gave three reasons why Amazon would pick San Diego. Reason two was “Talent pool." Get this: “The University of San Diego has one of the best computer science programs in the world. It is also home to the San Diego Supercomputer Center,” reads the Forbes article. Actually, the supercomputer center is at the University of California San Diego, which also has one of the best computer science programs in the world. The University of San Diego has a good computer program, but it is hardly one of the best in the world.
Then, under the title “Travel convenience,” Forbes said, “San Diego has access to two international airports. The San Diego International Airport is right downtown, the most convenient international airport in any major metro area. With the Cross-Border XPress, the Tijuana International Airport is less than 30 minutes from downtown San Diego.”
But how about the number of international flights? San Diego International Airport has flights to Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, and the U.K. Tijuana has flights to Central America and Shanghai. But, come on. The U.S. airports with the most international flights, in order, are New York (JFK), Miami, Los Angeles, Newark, Chicago (O’Hare), Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, Washington DC (Dulles), and Dallas-Fort Worth. Actually, convenience of international travel would be a strike against San Diego.
Forbes did get one right: under “Quality of life,” said Forbes, “The appeal of life in San Diego is unmatched.” Perhaps true, but apparently Amazon was looking for more than that.