The U feels like it was a winner in the vice presidential debate

Posted at 12:55 PM, Oct 08, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Whether Vice President Mike Pence or Sen. Kamala Harris won Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate is a matter of personal opinion.

One clear winner appears to be the University of Utah, for successfully hosting the event.

Clean up was underway Thursday morning.

Crews took down the barricades, the security checkpoints and rolled up 200,000 feet of fiber optic cable.

By the end of the day, the campus will look like an event that had all eyes on the U never happened.

“Lots of planning goes into it,” said University spokesman Chris Nelson. “It takes weeks to get ready and then the cleanup happens faster.”

Millions watched the debate on TV and online as the two candidates engaged in a verbal sparring match at Kingsbury Hall.

The debate lasted less than two hours, but took more than 12 months to plan and prepare for, and cost nearly $6 million.

Leaders at the U think it was time and money well spent.

“From the University's perspective it turned out to be a really great party,” Nelson said. “A really great way to showcase the University. The debate went well, the logistics went well.”

Because things seemed to go so smoothly, a lot of people, especially on social media, paid an inordinate amount of attention to the pesky fly that landed on the vice president's head and refused to leave.

“Because everything kind of went well and everyone was well behaved I think the fly maybe got more billing then he or she otherwise would have,” Nelson said. “The University does not have an official comment on the fly although we understand it may have been a Libertarian fly.”

The fly seemed to be the only glitch, and the hope is Utah will continue to host large and important events.