100 DU students win tickets to first presidential debate between Romney and Obama

Every student entered into drawing at least once

DENVER - University of Denver began to randomly select students Monday to attend Wednesday’s presidential debate.

The debate is the first in a series of three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate.

A crowd of about 100 students gathered outside Driscoll Hall for the 9:45 a.m. drawing, but every student on campus was entered for at least one chance to win a coveted ticket. Students had several opportunities to earn additional entries by attending events like political lectures.

“This is an amazing opportunity, just in general,” said sophomore Jordan Rook.

Although DU began to draw names for tickets, the university doesn't know how many seats they'll actually have for students.

“We try to keep asking, we're like, is it bigger than a bread box? Smaller than a refrigerator? They've just kinda said, 'We will tell you when we know,'” spokesman Carl Johnson said of the debate commission.

Students selected in the drawings are supposed to collect their ticket within about eight hours at the Newman Center. Photo identification will be required.

Tickets for the debate cannot be purchased or sold. They are not available to the general public and are only open to invited guests.

Identification will be checked at the door.

Work to prepare the Magness Arena for the debate began last week. Black curtains, air conditioning, a special stage and a small audience are intended to lend an intimate feeling to the setting.

“It didn’t seem very personal until about 30 seconds ago,” Rook said at the drawing Monday.

The two candidates will both have private time to visit the stage and rehearse before the debate Wednesday night.