2nd presidential debate moves from Michigan to Florida

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FILE- In this June 21, 2019 file photo, the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is lit up before dusk in Miami. The site of Democratic Presidential Debates in June 2019, will host a presidential debate after the University of Michigan withdrew after siting the work needs to prepare the campus for fall during the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nonpartisan commission that sponsors the formal election year presidential debates announced Tuesday that an October debate that had been set for Michigan will now take place in Florida.

The change comes after the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, determined it was no longer “feasible” to host the October 15 debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates said.

The debate will instead be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami.

In a letter shared with the Commission on Presidential Debates, University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel suggested the decision was influenced by the work needed to prepare the campus for the fall semester during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

FILE – In this Oct. 19, 2016 file photo, the set is shown during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas. The nonpartisan commission that sponsors presidential debates says a 2020 Presidential debate that had been scheduled to be held in Michigan will now take place in Florida. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Tuesday that Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami will host the debate originally set for the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The commission says the university concluded it is no longer “feasible” to host the debate. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“Given the scale and complexity of the work we are undertaking to help assure a safe and healthy fall for our students, faculty and staff and limited visitors — and in consideration of the public health guidelines in our state as well as advice from our own experts — we feel it is not feasible for us to safely host the presidential debate as planned,” Schlissel wrote.

Two other presidential debates and one vice presidential debate will proceed as originally planned.

The presidential debates are scheduled for September 29 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, October 15 at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami and October 22 at Belmont University in Tennessee.

The vice presidential debate is set for October 7 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

There are contingencies in place for all of the debate sites, according to a person familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity to discuss planning. The person noted that large performing arts venues that would otherwise be booked in the fall are available because the pandemic has led to the cancellation of so many events.


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