Debate day in Cleveland: Closures, preparations as city hosts 1st presidential debate

Tennessee lawmakers look forward to candidates setting the record straight at first...
Tennessee lawmakers look forward to candidates setting the record straight at first presidential debate
Updated: Sep. 29, 2020 at 12:31 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND (WOIO) - On Tuesday at 9 p.m., President Donald Trump and candidate former Vice President Joe Biden will face off in the first of three debates ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic are hosting the debate on the Health Education campus.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Roads will be closed: Making your way around part of the city’s East side will be difficult. Road closures started last week and will continue until Thursday. Click here for a full list of closures. Cleveland police have also put in place a ban on downtown parking throughout the debate. The ban runs from Lakeside Avenue south to Carnegie Avenue, East 18th Street west to the Cuyahoga River.
  • City leaders are preparing for protests: Mayor Frank Jackson said no groups pulled a permit to protest outside the debate, but he’s still preparing for demonstrators. Gov. Mike DeWine activated members of the Ohio National Guard to “ensure a safe and secure environment" for those attending the debate.
  • Business owners are lamenting lost customers: Typically, a presidential debate would have brought in crowds of people. Because of pandemic restrictions, business owners in the city say it’s been a quiet week. The Cleveland Clinic said tickets for the debate were “extremely limited.”
  • Some places will be closed: The Cleveland Public Library’s MLK branch will be closed Tuesday. Other businesses around the debate site also decided not to open Tuesday.
  • Leave your canned goods and containers of bodily fluids at home: Last week, city officials published a list of items that are prohibited in the debate zone. That list includes glass bottles, drones, weapons, and yes, containers of bodily fluids. Read the full list here.
  • Planning a major event during a pandemic posed some challenges: Peter Eyre, senior advisor for the Commission on Presidential Debates, spoke with 19 News about the planning challenges faced this year with the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The debate itself: This is the first of three presidential debates. The other two will be Oct. 15 in Miami and Oct. 22 in Nashville. There will also be a vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City, Utah on Oct. 7.

Chris Wallace of Fox News is the moderator for tonight’s debate. He chose the following topics:

  • The Trump and Biden Records
  • The Supreme Court
  • Covid-19
  • The Economy
  • Race and Violence in our Cities
  • The Integrity of the Election

You can watch the debate on CBS at 9 p.m.

Stick with 19 News for updates throughout the day.

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