The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has released a shot blurb outlining the start of the site selection process for the 2016 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates.


The details, direct from the CPD:

The 2016 Site Selection Guidelines will be posted January 2, 2015; proposals will be due March 31, 2015. For further information, please contact Nancy Henrietta at (202)872-1020, or e-mail [email protected]

So in early January, we can expect some guidelines which will detail what a venue must offer in terms of a proposal to hold a Presidential or Vice Presidential debate.

Back in 2011, the CPD set forth these guidelines for the 2012 debates:

  • A debate hall of at least 17,000 square feet that is air conditioned.
  • A large parking area close to the debate hall for up to 30 television remote trucks, trailers and/or satellite trucks up to 53 feet in length.
  • A media filing center, located either in the same facility as the debate hall or extremely close to the debate hall, that is a minimum of 20,000 square feet; this space must be air conditioned.
  • A media parking lot, located approximately one-half to one mile away from the media filing center. The space should include parking for approximately 500 passenger vehicles.
  • An accreditation center of at least 3,000 square feet, located approximately one-half to one mile away from the debate hall, with parking for up to 75 vehicles.
  • A ticket distribution center, located approximately one-half to two miles away from the debate hall. The facility’s parking should allow for up to 600 vehicles.
  • Availability of approximately 3,000 hotel rooms for the event, preferably located in a minimum of three hotels, with a maximum of seven hotels, within 30 minutes by car from the facilities.
  • The event requires that host sites be located near adequate air and ground transportation networks.
  • The CPD will need the host’s guarantee of complete city services, including public safety personnel.

Beyond the list of logistical specifics, colleges and universities have the ability to raise funding from alumni and the community which pays for the debate production costs. This is what has created a monopoly of universities holding debates as opposed to theaters or public event centers.