According to a study commissioned by Lynn University, the final presidential debate hosted by the school on Oct. 22, produced $13.1 million in immediate economic impact for the Palm Beach County economy, including approximately $1.7 million in elevated spending by local residents, increased bed taxes by 22 percent and obtained more than $63 million in publicity value for Lynn and the community, including more than $50 million for the City of Boca Raton.
The university’s Office of Institutional Research, Planning & Assessment worked with several organizations to obtain the data presented in the study including Nielsen, the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Enigma Research Corporation and two media monitoring services.

$13.1 Million Impact
The Lynn debate garnered $13.1 million in total economic impact. This conservative estimate is calculated using three main data points.
• Facility and operational spending was just over $4.5 million.
• Delegate and media spending was nearly $3 million.
• Ancillary events such as Spin the Vote in Delray Beach and Rock the Vote in Boca Raton brought out an estimated 13,000 people who spent just over an estimated $1.7 million.

Media Attention
The event brought massive media attention to Lynn and the community. Media monitoring data showed the debate produced the following:
• 33,208 total news stories
• $63,724,378 in publicity value
• 503,075,159 total news circulation/viewership
• unprecedented amount of social media and web traffic

Viewership Numbers
A presidential debate is one of the most nationally viewed events that a community can host. At an estimated 59.2 million viewers, it ranks only behind a Super Bowl and the Olympics in terms of viewership. Each of the presidential debates and the vice-presidential debate obtained more viewers than the 2012 national political party conventions and easily eclipsed viewership of other types of televised 2012 election debates such as the numerous Republican Primary debates.

The data in Lynn’s study provided by Nielsen show that the final presidential debate obtained a healthy viewership:
• More viewers than ever tuned into Fox News, even more than for the final 2008 debate between McCain and Obama.
• More people tuned into Lynn’s debate than President Obama’s announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed (56 million tuned in that night).

For more information, read the full story and check out the slideshow presentation.