Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun, mrcalhoun@cbs.com)By Michael Calhoun

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Joe Buck is being called upon again to help sell his hometown.

This time, the voice of Fox Sports has taped a testimonial to convince Amazon to place its second headquarters in the Gateway City. As many as 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars in investment are up for grabs.

Only one metro area in North America will win.

“You can go to any one of the usual suspects,” Buck began, referencing cities like Denver and Boston while standing high atop the Hilton at the Ballpark’s 360 rooftop. Much of the downtown skyline was at his back.

KMOX’s Michael Calhoun was the only reporter there as the cameras rolled for Buck and other passionate locals.

joebuck Exclusive: Joe Buck to Amazon: This Can Be Your Town

Joe Buck prepares to record his pitch to Amazon on October 4th, 2017. (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

“I think anybody who calls St. Louis their home wants to see it grow,” Buck told us in an interview afterward. “This could be a major opportunity and a huge step forward for St. Louis.”

He says he thought a lot about his argument to Amazon and decided — they could call this city their city.

“That’s my sales pitch,” he explained. “You can come in and this can really be your town. Anheuser-Busch isn’t what it was. A lot of our identity, business-wise, is gone, so this is a major opportunity. I hope they really look at it and take it seriously, because I think it can be really special for them.”

Buck won’t be alone on the civic promotion reel.

Other A-listers we’re told have already sat down include David Steward of World Wide Technology, Andy Taylor of Enterprise Holdings and Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee. (Let’s just say the east side might be involved.)

When KMOX asked Buck about St. Louis’ national perception, he responded that the region’s family arguments aren’t helpful.

“I think everybody, to be honest about it, everybody who lives in this city-slash-suburb would like to see more of a merger and more reaching across the aisle, so to speak, between county and city. That’s, in my opinion, where this town needs to go if it’s really going to grow,” he told KMOX.

While Buck was doing his take, we talked with others waiting for their turn on the rooftop deck with a panoramic view of the city.

img 6637 Exclusive: Joe Buck to Amazon: This Can Be Your Town

Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano, of the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano, of the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said “the people make St. Louis special.”

Matt Menietti, executive director of GlobalHack, says he moved to St. Louis from Iowa and stayed because people were welcoming, inviting him to join both their boards and sports leagues.

He said: “This is a city that has a lot of character and grit, and yeah there’s some bruises, but there’s an opportunity here to make a difference.”

 

 

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