The White House Correspondents' Dinner Costs The WHCA A Whole Hell Of A Lot Of Money
Nerd Prom is upon us once again. But this isn't your average high-school prom, as there will be no awkward slow dances or first kisses at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Instead, journalists who normally spend their days covering the president and the White House will gather to make jokes and, in some cases, be the center of the joke. Until recently, the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner has been one of the hottest tickets to nab in Washington, D.C. This year, however, the event doesn't appear to be attracting the same amount of buzz as it has in years past; even the president has said he'll be staying home. Still, the show — I mean, the dinner must go on. The black-tie event is a big one, but how much does the White House Correspondent' Dinner cost, exactly?
While it's difficult to put an exact price on the cost of throwing the White House Correspondents' Dinner, you can bet it's not a cheap affair. In 2015, POLITICO reported that the 2014 dinner had cost the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) somewhere in the six figures. According to the Washington Post, much of the $600,000 in annual revenue pulled in by the WHCA comes from the dinner itself.
As you can imagine, the dinner's cost is reflected in its ticket price. Tickets for the dinner are sold in groups of 10, with 10 tickets equaling one table. Each year there are 260 tables available, each selling for $3,000, or about $300 per guest. But nerd prom isn't for everyone. Only members of the WHCA or their respective organizations are able to purchase tickets, meaning that even the most popular celebrities have to be asked if they'd like to attend as the guest of a news outlet.
For all its hype, the White House Correspondents' Dinner has always been, above everything else, a celebration of the First Amendment. And although the price of tickets can be controversial, the proceeds do go toward a good cause. Along with highlighting the excellent journalism happening in Washington, the White House Correspondents' Dinner also provides an opportunity to acknowledge and assist the next generation of budding journalists. According to the WHCA's official website, the non-profit organization is able to sponsor roughly $100,000 in scholarships. This year, 23 winners will be recognized and awarded scholarships of various amounts at this year's dinner on April 29.
Despite President Trump's refusal to attend, the annual White House Correspondents's Dinner will go ahead as planned, with comedian Hasan Minhaj acting as the night's entertainment.