U chosen to host 2024 presidential debate

University of Utah campus. Photo: U of U Facebook

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 20, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — The University of Utah has been selected to host a presidential debate next year.

On Oct. 9, 2024, a Wednesday, qualifying candidates will take center stage at the Marriott Auditorium in Kingsbury Hall for a moderated debate to be broadcast on all major television networks.

“To have the opportunity to host a U.S. presidential debate is a privilege, and we are thrilled to welcome the world back to the University of Utah,” said Taylor Randall, U of U president. “Being chosen as a debate site by the Commission on Presidential Debates is a testament to the tremendous capacity of our university and we cannot wait for our students, campus and city to play a role in this historic civic event.”

Gov. Spencer Cox also spoke at a news conference Monday afternoon.

“Ours is a state on the rise and I’m certain that Utahns will once again exemplify our hospitality and professionalism on both a national and international stage,” Cox said. “Our successful hosting of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and previous site of a vice presidential debate shows Utah is ready for this distinct honor.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall also shared thoughts.

“It will be an honor and a privilege to welcome the presidential candidates to Salt Lake City for a debate about the most important issues affecting our country,” she said. “We have a proven track record for successfully hosting events on a global scale, as evident by the success of the 2020 vice presidential debate at the University of Utah that was viewed by millions of people. We will be ready once again to provide a welcoming environment for the candidates, the audience and viewers around the world.”

Mendenhall also said she and Cox will join with the Olympic bid committee Tuesday for a final presentation before the International Olympic Committee in hopes of securing a future Winter Games.

“It really feels like Salt Lake City and the state of Utah are the crossroads of the world,” Mendenhall said. “There is so much going on, so many big things happening here.”

Asked who he, personally, would like to see at the presidential debate, Cox said “anybody but the two frontrunners right now,” adding, “I would love to see some new choices. And by the way, I’m not alone.”


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