Belmont Applies to Host Presidential Debate in 2016
On Jan. 12, 2015, Belmont University confirmed that it will apply to host a 2016 presidential or vice presidential debate and will officially submit its proposal to the Commission on Presidential Debates prior to the March 31 deadline. Belmont previously hosted the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, moderated by NBC News’ Tom Brokaw, between then candidates Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama. The 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, the first to be held in Tennessee and the only one in which questions to the candidates were asked by citizen participants, scored a ratings coup both nationwide and locally.
According to Nielsen Media Ratings, more than 63.2 million homes nationwide tuned in to view the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate on Tues., Oct. 7, the largest television audience of the three presidential debates held that fall. In addition, the event attracted thousands of media and other visitors to Nashville and resulted in both an economic boost and more than 5,200 media hits in the days leading up to and following the debate. A writer for USA Today even noted, “Belmont University in Nashville proved that small places with big ambitions could be world-class stages.”