WSU lost $1.7 million on debate, spent $2.6 million upgrading arena

A final financial tally indicates Wright State University lost a little more than $1.7 million on the 2016 presidential debate it didn’t end up hosting.

The final finances for the debate, released this week, also show the university spent more than $2.6 million on upgrading the main campus’ and Nutter Center’s internet infrastructure and repairing the arena’s heating and cooling system and smoke detection system, according to an analysis from the university.

Spokesman Seth Bauguess said the university planned to make the upgrades to the Nutter Center over the next few years anyway.

WSU president David Hopkins talks about the university’s plans to host the first 2016 presidential debate. Wright State eventually backed out of the debate and a final tally shows the university lost $1.7 million on the event it never ended up hosting. DARIN POPE/STAFF (Staff Writer)

Wright State announced in July that it would pull out of hosting the first 2016 presidential debate. In August, Bauguess told this news organization the university had spent around $2.5 million on debate prep but that officials were still crunching numbers to determine a final cost.

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The university did not have to return a $220,000 cyber security grant it also received from the state.

RELATED: Wright State won’t see financial benefit of layoffs until end of 2017

The final debate expenses were announced as Wright State tries to figure out how to deal with its ongoing budget issues.


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