The University of Michigan did it last month, and now Notre Dame has decided it won't host the presidential debate scheduled for its campus. "The necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus," the university's president said in a statement, NBC reports. The decision was made after health officials and Notre Dame trustees were consulted, the Rev. John Jenkins said. Because of pandemic restrictions, he said, fewer students would have been able to watch President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden debate in person, and related events would have had to be scaled back.
Instead of South Bend, Indiana, the debate will be held in Cleveland, per the Hill, hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic. The hosts haven't decided whether an audience will be present for the Sept. 29 event at Samson Pavilion. The pandemic makes the Health Education Campus a relevant location, leaders of the two institutions said. "To have the presidential candidates discuss these issues in our innovative learning space represents a tremendous opportunity for both institutions," they said in a statement. The second debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, has been moved from Michigan to Miami. The final debate remains planned for Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville. (Read more presidential debate stories.)