Debate cleanup underway at the University of Utah


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)– The Vice Presidential debate took about a year to plan, weeks to execute but the University says it will take just days to break down.

Thursday, crews will spend the day breaking down the debate space.

“Module trailers for office space, 200,000 feet of fiber optic cable, dozens of generators, all of the fencing you see,” spokesperson Chris Nelson University of Utah said.

Nelson says everything was brought in for crowd control and to protect the candidates and attendees from COVID 19.

“From the University’s perspective the logistics played out exactly as we planned them,”  Nelson said.

But COVID-19 was not the only concern.

As non-violent protests broke out in front of Kingsbury Hall, Nelson said University Police, Salt Lake Police, other local law enforcement, and the Secret Service had a security plan in place.

“It went really well last night, one arrest,” Nelson said. “Anytime you have a sitting and Vice President and presidential candidate they have their own protocols in place.”

The debate may be over, but Nelson says it will never be forgotten. “I think the University of Utah will go down in history as the site of one of the U.S. really important conversations on the Vice-Presidential Campaign.”

Nelson says all the planning and accommodating the pandemic was worth it, and given the opportunity, the University would gladly host another political debate.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...