Wright State cancels 1st presidential debate amid rising costs

UNLV, LVCVA remain committed to final debate

By Nia Wong | nwong@lasvegasnow.com, Chris Benka

Published 07/19 2016 11:00PM

Updated 07/20 2016 12:00AM

The first presidential debate between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is moving from Wright State University in Ohio to Hofstra University in New York.

Wright State is dropping the debate because of rising security concerns and costs. The estimated cost of security rose from $3.5 million to more than $8 million.

The debate was expected to generate as much as $25 million in economic impact for the Dayton, Ohio region, so the decision comes as a big disappointment for their local economy.

8 News NOW reached out to UNLV and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) to see if the rising cost of security could affect UNLV’s ability to host the final presidential debate October 19th.

That debate is scheduled to take place at the Thomas and Mack Center. It's the last opportunity for candidates to sway voters on the big stage.

A UNLV representative says plans to host the debate have not changed.

The university estimates the media value of hosting the event is $22 million. Last fall, the LVCVA approved up to $4 million in spending to offset planning and associated event costs.

At the moment, the tourism agency is still looking for sponsorship opportunities.

The university is also working with community partners to plan programs around the debate, which they say presents a great educational experience for students.

UNLV President Len Jessup has said the debate will give Las Vegas one of the most heavily watched television events in the world.

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