First Presidential Debate Moves to Cleveland After University of Notre Dame Withdraws as Host

The first debate, now co-hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, will take place on Sept. 29

Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Jonathan Bachman / Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The first presidential debate will move from Indiana to Ohio following the withdrawal of the University of Notre Dame as host, the Commission on Presidential Debates said on Monday.

The debate will still take place as previously scheduled on Sept. 29, but it will now be co-hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic at the Health Education Campus in Cleveland, Ohio.

University of Notre Dame President and Reverend John Jenkins said that after consultation with a county health officer and the board of trustees, the university came to the conclusion that “the necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus.”

“I am grateful to the many members of the University community who have devoted countless hours planning this event, and to the Commission on Presidential Debates leadership for their professionalism and understanding. But in the end, the constraints the coronavirus pandemic put on the event — as understandable and necessary as they are — have led us to withdraw,” Jenkins said in a statement.

The September debate in Cleveland will feature the presumed matchup between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, who are expected to receive their party nominations next month during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, respectively. The debate will take place from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET without commercial breaks and will be followed a week later by the first vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.