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More than 5,000 people attended DU's DebateFest, and an additional 1,000-plus attended the debate itself at the University of Denver.

Debate Day: By the numbers


It might look effortless, but hosting the first presidential debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3 took nearly a year of planning, preparation and work by scores of students, faculty, staff, alumni and University community members working side-by-side with city, state and federal officials, as well as the Commission on Presidential Debates.

More than 1,000 guests were in the audience in the debate hall, including 297 University of Denver students. Millions of people around the world watched on television and online.


1: Presidential debate at the University of Denver

2: Miles of security fencing

3: Outstanding local bands performing at DebateFest

3.2: Gigawatts needed to back up all technology (enough to power 3,200 homes)

6: Major networks covering the debate

6: Miles of I-25 closed

7: Percent increase in @uofdenver Twitter followers in one week

8: Months planning and installation with CenturyLink telecommunications timeline (But … 48 hours: Time for CenturyLink to remove telecommunications)

12: Food trucks at DebateFest

17: Romney surrogate signs spotted in Spin Alley (five spotted Obama surrogate signs in Spin Alley)

24: Percent increase in Facebook.com/UofDenver "Likes"

30: Booths in Spin Alley

45: Degrees of temperature change during debate day (high of 79 at 2 p.m.; 61 at debate start; down to 54 at debate finish; 34 at midnight—source: National Weather Service)

50: Booths in Issues Alley in DebateFest

55: Rent-a-Center TV sets placed in Hamilton Gymnasium

56: Miles of electric cable laid

74: Percent of those surveyed who could correctly identify (unaided) that the University of Denver was the host location for the first presidential debate

109: The number of programs, lectures and events in DU's Presidential Debate Event Series from Oct. 31, 2011, to Oct. 3, 2012

297: University of Denver students in the debate hall

400: Number of University of Denver alumni hosting Debate-in-a-Box watch parties (more than 3,300 attendees, from 40 states and five countries outside the United States: Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, South Africa and Israel)

650: Individual work stations inside the media filing station in Hamilton Gymnasium

700: Foreign journalists (representing 47 countries)

850: (plus or minus) Volunteers helping with debate and debate-related events and activities

1,000: (plus a few more) Seats in the debate hall

1,300: Specially installed phone/Ethernet ports

3,000: Credentialed media inside the perimeter

5,000: Estimated guests at DebateFest

25,000: Attendees (approximate) at Presidential Debate Event Series events between January 2012 and debate day

100,000: Feet of CenturyLink wire (enough to wire a small town)

10,300,000: Debate-related tweets during the 90 minutes of the debate

67,200,000: Estimated number of viewers watching the debate in the United States (source: Nielsen)