LAS VEGAS — The budget for hosting the upcoming presidential debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has doubled over the last year, to $8 million.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Thursday allocated $4 million more toward the Oct. 19 debate at the 18,500-seat Thomas & Mack Center, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (

But officials said the cost will ultimately be paid by the university.

With less than three weeks until Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton face off in front of up to 7,000 journalists, university President Len Jessup said the board move keeps continuity with contractors.

“It would have been really difficult to move them over to another agency mid-stream,” he said.

Convention authority chief executive Rossi Ralenkotter told the board he’s still finalizing contracts for the event.

Jessup said hosting the debate has generated tens of millions of dollars in publicity and media coverage for the city and UNLV, and compared the buzz to the school’s NCAA men’s basketball team’s success 26 years ago.

“We haven’t had this kind of national publicity probably since the Runnin’ Rebels won the national championship in 1990,” he said.

Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal,