Presidential Debate To Be Moved To Miami After UMich Withdraws Commitment To Host

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 5: An aerial shot at the Grand Opeing of the Carnival Center For The Performing Arts on October 5, 2006 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Victor Malafronte/Getty Images)
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June 23, 2020 11:08 a.m.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday that the second presidential debate will be held at a performing arts center in Miami, Florida, replacing the University of Michigan which withdrew its commitment to host, citing health concerns.

“This debate was originally scheduled for the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the University has concluded that it is not feasible to host the presidential debate as planned,” the CPD wrote in the announcement.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel said in a letter to the CPD that the “scale and complexity” of the work it is undertaking to assure the health of its students and faculty for a safe fall opening that is expected to resume face-to-face instruction precluded the institution from hosting the debate as planned. In his letter, Schlissel,  who is the first physician-scientist to lead the university, also noted that advice from the university’s own health experts, in addition to state safety guidelines, made a debate at the campus no longer feasible. The Detroit Free Press first reported the school’s decision on Monday.

The Michigan debate would have marked the second time a presidential debate was held in the state; the last was hosted by Michigan State University in 1992.

Now the debate will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center, a non-profit performing arts organization and venue in Miami. The October 15 debate will mark the second time the CPD has conducted a presidential debate in Miami. The first was held at the University of Miami during the 2004 presidential debates.

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