Las Vegas Sun

March 20, 2019

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By the numbers: Why UNLV presidential debate means so much to Las Vegas

2016 vegas debate art

Photo Illustration

An overview of the candidates from the 2016 presidential campaign.

After the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Wednesday approved spending $4 million to bring a general election presidential debate here, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus would host the third and final debate Oct. 19 next year.

Nevada, an election swing state, was already a strong player in the presidential race. Now, the spotlight will shine here even brighter, if that was possible considering the already constant candidate visits more than a year away from the general election.

Here’s a look by the numbers at the debate:

Three — number of presidential debates to be held during the general election. They will be at Dayton, Ohio; St. Louis, and Las Vegas, at UNLV

Oct. 19, 2016 — date of the Las Vegas presidential debate

One — number of vice presidential debates. (It will be in Farmville, Va.)

$4 million — fees and costs that the city will pay to host the debate

$50 million — amount of publicity the debate is expected to generate for Las Vegas and the university

151 — years it took until Nevada landed its first presidential debate — this one

Two — number of times that a general election debate has been held west of the Rockies in the past three decades

3,500 — number of journalists expected to be in town for the debate

800 — Democratic and Republican delegates expected to be in town to watch the debate

4,300 — number of journalists and party delegates invited to the Las Vegas Sun's after-party

Two — number of presidential candidates expected to debate each other

4/9 — odds given by the UK’s Sky Bet that Hillary Clinton will be onstage at the debate

15/8 — odds given that Jeb Bush will be onstage

9/2 — odds that Donald Trump will be onstage

1/1 — odds Donald Trump will show up anyway, just to soak up the attention

Just so many — number of times that Las Vegas politicians have said that the debate means the rest of the country "now takes Las Vegas seriously"

Scott Lucas can be reached at 702-290-7426 or [email protected]. Follow Scott on Twitter at

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