Unprecedented impact

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It’s an undebatable fact that the vice-presidential debate next fall will do amazing things for our community.

The citizens of Farmville, Longwood University and the Heart of Virginia will definitely be better off because of the solid decision the Commission on Presidential Debates made a few weeks ago.

We thank the commission for choosing Longwood, but, more so we commend the university and the town for putting our community and region on the map by asserting that this is the best place for the national spotlight.

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We’re excited about the political, educational, social and economic impacts this debate will have on the future of Farmville and Longwood.

At Centre College in Danville, Ky., where the last vice-presidential debate was held, spokesman Michael Strysick said that the impact on the college “was positive in every way imaginable and every way measurable.”

The college saw a 14 percent increase in applications about a year after the debate was held. The same year the announcement of the venue was made, Centre saw a 7 percent jump in applications.

Strysick estimated the media value of the debate to be $53.7 million for the school. Tens of millions of people had their eyes on Danville, he said.

“It was worldwide publicity, certainly,” Danville City Manager Ron Scott said of the debate.

With a such a rich history, culture and population here, we’re bound to top those numbers.

The economic impact through the use of our hotels, restaurants and other businesses during events and meetings leading up to the event and during the debate itself will be profound.

We think our community will reap many — if not more — of the same benefits that were sewn in the Kentucky debate in 2012.