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Presidential Debate Worth $63 Million to Lynn University

January 30, 2013 - 6:00pm

Lynn University says its hosting of the final 2012 presidential debate was worth $63 million in publicity to the campus and surrounding community.

A study by the Boca Raton campus also determined the Oct. 22 contest between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney directly pumped $13.1 million into Palm Beach Countys economy, with a 22 percent increase in bed tax revenue and locals spending $1.7 million more than normal.

We worked with several research partners and local government agencies to ensure we captured an in-depth and objective view of what happened, Jason Walton, Lynn Universitys chief of staff, stated in a release posted with the study.

The contest drew 59.2 million viewers, while up against both Monday Night Football -- a 13-7 Chicago Bears victory over the Detroit Lions -- and game seven of the National League Championship Series -- a 9-0 blowout for the San Francisco Giants over the St. Louis Cardinals. The number was 3.2 million more than watched Obama announce the death of Osama bin Laden.

Prior to the event, city leaders who rolled out the welcome mat for the politicians and crowds of media, estimated the event would create $5 million to $6 million in economic impact.

The school considers the study numbers conservative.

-- Facility and operational spending was just over $4.5 million. This includes the nearly $3 million spent locally by Lynn and more than $1.5 million in donations to Lynn. The majority of money spent in this category, $2.2 million, was used to develop the technology needed to host the debate.

-- Delegate and media spending was nearly $3 million. This category includes media as well as the various other groups of individuals credentialed to participate in the debate. The 4,060 media that were in the area for the debate spent an estimated $2,662,000. Lodging represented a large amount of this spending at an estimated $655,000.

-- Ancillary events such as Spin the Vote in Delray Beach and Rock the Vote in Boca Raton brought out an estimated 13,000 people: 3,190 were nonlocal and 9,810 were local residents who spent just over an estimated $1.7 million at these events -- showing strong local interest in the event.

Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.

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