USF will host more than just the Republican primary debate planned in January.
NBC will also broadcast four live shows – “The Daily Rundown” with Chuck Todd at 9 a.m., “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at 1 p.m. and two “Hardball with Chris Matthews” shows at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m according to an email sent from University Spokeswoman Lara Wade-Martinez to University officials.
In addition, it may broadcast “NBC Nightly News” with Brian Williams, the debate’s host, from the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Atrium on Jan. 23.
After NBC executives visited campus last week, they confirmed that the GOP debate will be held in Theater 1 from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and will be moderated by Brian Williams.
“We are thrilled about the national exposure that these shows will bring to our University and to be involved with such a high caliber production,” Wade-Martinez wrote in the email.
Contracts with NBC have yet to be signed, but University spokesman Michael Hoad said NBC and the St. Petersburg Times, the debate’s hosts, will sponsor most of the event.
“On campus, Student Government (SG) is certainly the place that deserves most (of the) credit,” he said.
Hoad said University Communications and Marketing would pay for some of the incidental costs of increased police security and cleaning costs after the debate.
SG, he said, would pay for rooms rented out in the MSC for media outlets and possible viewing parties.
Student body president Matt Diaz said while no numbers have been decided yet, some tickets to attend the debate would be reserved for students through a lottery system.
“Because it’s such a high-profile event, there should be some allotment for tickets for students,” he said. “We don’t know how many, whether there will be five or whether there will be 50.”
Diaz said SG is also looking to get students as involved in the debates and shows aired that day as possible. NBC, he said, will be in need of volunteers. “We’ll be advertising and recruiting for student volunteers really hard,” he said.
Hoad said a committee for the debate will meet in the coming weeks to finalize details surrounding the day’s events. The Florida presidential primary is Jan. 31.