DU spent $1.6 million on debate, local governments also putting money

CALL7 Investigators look into costs of debate

DENVER - As the University of Denver hosts the first 2012 President Debate, the CALL7 Investigators took a closer look at the costs associated with this massive event.

A DU spokeswoman said the university paid $1.65 million to the Commission on Presidential Debates, which handles producing the debate. No student money will be spent on the debate, according DU.

The spokeswoman said additional money is being spent on DebateFest, the watch party held on the DU campus for students who did not receive tickets to the debate. Those costs have not been calculated yet.

The Colorado Department of Transportation estimates it will spend $30,000 to $40,000 on traffic control and barricades to direct traffic around the event.

Denver Police and the City of Denver have not calculated costs yet. Calls to the Governor’s Office were not returned.

The Call7 Investigators also looked into the budgets of the three other universities that are hosting the remaining Presidential and Vice Presidential debates this year.

  • Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL estimates it will spent $5 million.
  • Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, didn’t have an estimate available yet, but said it spent between $4 million and $5 million hosting a 2008 Presidential Debate.
  • Centre College in Danville, Kentucky says it will cost about $3.3 million for the Vice Presidential debate.

DU says the benefit of hosting a Presidential debate far outweighs the cost. It estimates a 15% increase in student applications in 2013 due to the worldwide exposure the debate will generate.  

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