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Last modified: Monday, November 5, 2007

Bloomington Herald Times

Nov. 5, 2007

Will Bloomington host a presidential debate? We'll find out soon; Decision expected in October has been delayed a few weeks
By James Boyd
November 5, 2007

A decision on whether Indiana University and Bloomington will play host to a 2008 presidential debate will not be released for at least a few more weeks.

Officials from the Commission on Presidential Debates announced back in April that IU and the City of Bloomington's Convention and Visitors Bureau were one of 19 applicants to host one of three presidential debates in the fall of 2008.

There will also be one site chosen for a vice-presidential debate, and two alternative sites picked.

Commission members had hoped to release the four chosen and two alternative sites by the end of October, but it could be a few more weeks before representatives from any of the sites hear a decision.

IU spokesman Larry MacIntyre said they've heard from the committee that the selections have been delayed by about two weeks.

"We kind of thought (the announcement) would be right about today," MacIntyre said Thursday. "But we've been told we're very much in the running still."

If selected, the area is expected to experience a solid economic boom, with thousands of media members and others descending on Bloomington and the rest of the state.

"We think it'd be great for Indiana," MacIntyre said.

The debate would be held at the IU Auditorium, with media headquarters being housed in nearby campus facilities.

Representatives from the commission visited IU in July to inspect the facilities that would be used if IU was selected.

The application to put IU in the running was an effort driven entirely by student government representatives.

The plan would likely use Wildermuth Gym in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation building to host an estimated 3,000 media members expected to be here to cover the debate.

One other Indiana applicant has asked to host the debate: Wayne County and the city of Richmond.