Presidential debate generates millions for city, university - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Presidential debate generates millions for city, university

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The final presidential debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas generated millions in publicity for the city and university.

The Oct. 19 debate at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center brought in nearly $114 million, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, a figure that more than doubled the original projection.

The debate was reported as the third most watched in history, attracting more than 71 million television viewers. It was the first time in history that Nevada hosted a general election debate.

“Every Nevadan should be proud that the debate provided an opportunity to showcase the state, Las Vegas and UNLV,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “I want to extend my congratulations to the LVCVA and UNLV. I know both organizations worked tirelessly to make sure this event was extraordinary in every detail.”

Approximately 5,000 members of the media from national and international outlets converged on Las Vegas to cover the debate according to the LVCVA, who partnered with UNLV.

The cost to produce the debate was approximately $7.5 million, which was offset by more than $1.4 million in gross revenue from sponsorships, exhibit booth space, and catering. The LVCVA had authorization to expend up to $4 million on debate costs with UNLV absorbing the remaining expenses.    

Separately, the university also invested nearly $1 million in expenditures as the host site for items such as Wi-Fi enhancements, fiber extensions, facilities maintenance and campus marketing signage, said the LVCVA. Many of these items have ongoing application and benefits for the campus.

“UNLV is honored to have hosted a presidential debate and values the support the LVCVA provided with its brand marketing expertise and resources,” said President Len Jessup. “For our students and many around the valley, the presidential debate provided an educational opportunity and propelled them and UNLV into the spotlight in unimaginable ways.  It was a phenomenal event for the university.”

Hosting the debate confirmed Las Vegas’ reputation as more than just a leisure destination, but also as a serious place to do business according to the LVCVA.

“To reach a worldwide audience of more than 71 million people is a great investment and an amazing opportunity to promote Las Vegas as the number one tourist and meeting destination in the world,” said LVCVA President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter. “I’m also thrilled that UNLV had this opportunity to showcase its academic programs and the campus. The cost to bring this international showcase to Las Vegas was well worth the investment based on the worldwide publicity itself.”

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