NBC News returns to Arsht Center for GOP debate

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NBC News hosted its first Republican debate ahead of the 2024 presidential election Nov. 8, 2023, with a familiar look in a familiar venue. 

Like during the 2019 primary season, NBC set up at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ Knight Concert Hall in Miami, Florida, for a two-night debate.

For 2023, the network brought back the same scenic elements as it did during the last presidential election cycle, a series of freestanding frames featuring segments of seamless LED video tiles and simulated etched glass panels designed to play homage to the architectural details of the White House. The stage was designed by Clickspring Design and lighting from The Lighting Design Group. 

The network used largely the same election graphics package based around flat red and white stripes with blue accents and clean light gray and white backgrounds. Contrasting this was the darker look reminiscent of giant billboards inside of a hanger-like environment that was also a holdover. 

The network continued to use its famous election theme music as well.

Also, like the last election cycle, the video walls were filled with graphics designed to simulate the White House exterior along with animated oversized typography and ribbons.

During most of the broadcast, the arrays behind the five participating candidates continued to feature a looped animation of a flowing star background in blue and red.

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From some angles, it appears the colors may have been intensified a bit — or the network used different LED panels (there was also notably less of moire in most shots).

NBC updated the debate logo to include its new logo type with the updated peacock icon and its custom NBC Tinker typeface. 

Also updated was the floor decal featuring the NBC News logo in the center of the stage. 

For the three moderators, NBC continued to use the modular curved desk it used during the last cycle as well. This desk can be expanded to seat more people, but with only a trio of people sitting behind it for the Nov. 8 event, only the larger, main segment was used.

This features a lower-resolution LED front along with a dimensional star camera right. The opposite end cap has a glass panel with the peacock, though it was difficult to tell if this was swapped out for the new version.

The network also brought back the three-layered edge-lit glass peacocks, with one positioned downstage right and the other in the audience. 

The “classic” NBC News logotype in Futura was swapped out in favor of internally lit dimensional lettering in Tinker.

One new element NBC added to its broadcast is the use of simulated elements in exterior shots of the host venue and city, including a large vertical rendition of the Decision 2024 logo.

Another view featured the historic Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College with the Paramount Miami Worldcenter and Marinablue buildings visible. NBC’s branding was featured on the vertical ribbon going up the side of the Worldcenter topped off with a panel sporting the peacock. 

It also had a debate billboard on the side of the Marinablue parking structure wall. 

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