Denver has made a big push to be Amazon's HQ2, here's why it might not win the bid

  • Denver is one of dozens of U.S. cities vying to be Amazon's second headquarters.
  • Its affordability, proximity to universities and pool of tech talent keep it solidly in the running.
  • There's also some third party hype around Colorado's bid.
  • But the state's official bid was low on incentives, and it's a relatively costly state for businesses.

Denver is one of many U.S. cities vying to be Amazon's second headquarters — dubbed HQ2 — but despite some saying that the Colorado city would be the perfect locale, CNBC's own analysis doesn't find the city to be a perfect match.

CNBC gave Denver a grade of a C+ in meeting Amazon's criteria — citing in particular its location, crumbling roads and high cost to business.

There are some selling points, of course: Denver's affordability, proximity to universities and large pool of tech talent keep it solidly in the running.

The state's workforce is the most educated in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

And there's some hype around Colorado's bid — The New York Times declared in September that Denver had to be the winner.

But the state's official bid was low on incentives — compared with some stunning numbers from New Jersey and California — and it's a relatively costly state for businesses. Amazon has more than 200 proposals to piece through.

To see how Denver stacks up against other cities in the running, read CNBC's full report card here.