As we opened our laptop to file our first story from the University of Denver today, we realized we were missing a key ingredient: wireless. And that led us to a discover that, despite all the awesome swag given out at the presidential debate, reporting (comfortably and wirelessly) comes with a price.
For a seat in the giant filing room, it's $86. Or if you choose to sit in the mezzanine, that's $40. Regardless, wireless access, separately, costs $175.
Representatives from the University of Denver who are helping direct the thousands of reporters and media folk in attendance tell us that the charges are in place simply to defray the costs of such a large event, as well as for infrastructure, setup and the like. They assure us that no one is making any sort of profit off of this.
The debate is expected to draw around 3,000 representatives of the media who have been credentialed for the event. Inside the filing room, there are roughly 700 seats. (The 3,000 refers to total number of bodies -- there are crew members and others who don't need seats).
As of this writing, DU officials say they have no information about how many people have actually purchased those seats, or how many folks are buying wireless. It's likely that many reporters have their own devices to access wireless. Though if they do not (yours truly is writing from another spot on campus), it wouldn't make much sense to purchase a seat without buying some wireless, too.
When there is more information about how many people bought seats and wireless, we'll try to update later -- perhaps from our phone.
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