Mark your calendars: There's already a presidential debate on the books. It will be held Sept. 16, 2015.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation announced Thursday that it would host the televised debate for Republican candidates. "While the candidates are still considering whether or not they will seek America's highest office, we are less than a year away from presidential debates that will start the national conversation on important issues," former first lady Nancy Reagan said in a statement.

The obvious unknown is who will be participating, since no major candidates have announced yet. The less obvious variable is whether the Republican National Committee will sanction the debate.

"Our current focus is on taking back the Senate and growing the party this coming Tuesday," RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told the Associated Press when asked about the debate. "By the end of the year the RNC will release a list of sanctioned debates and we look forward to working with networks, venues and groups that have an interest in hosting a debate."

The RNC is moving to limit the number of primary season debates this time around. Why? Because last time, the number of debates exploded, with each one offering underdogs a chance to take some bruising swings at the frontrunners before a national TV audience.

Eventual nominee Mitt Romney was wounded by the debates heading into the general election -- both because of the attacks he faced and the conservative rhetoric he was forced to adopt on key issues like immigration.

The many debates also made it easier for long-shot candidates like Herman Cain to rise in the polls, making the primary process longer and more expensive for the eventual nominee.