(10/03/12) - Wednesday night's debate presidential debate places the University of Denver in the national spotlight.
Millions across the country will tune in to watch, and members of the University community are ready.
It's a holiday at the University of Denver - but not one usually on the calendar. Classes canceled because of the presidential debate. The hockey arena transformed. Security is tight.
"It's pretty exciting just looking around and seeing how pumped people are getting," said DU sophomore Samantha Crane.
Media from around the world have taken over the college of 5,000 undergrads. But students don't seem to mind.
"Especially with Colorado being a swing state, it's pretty cool to know that two political parties that are so well represented can be present on our campus and they can see just how beautiful this state is," said DU sophomore Li Mattson.
Wednesday's debate will be divided into six 15-minute segments. Moderator Jim Lehrer will ask President Obama and Mitt Romney questions about the economy, health care, the role of government and governing.
"President Obama will be defending his economic record. I think making the case that he has presided over a turnaround in the economy. Whereas Mitt Romney is going to be talking about his business experience, his past of creating jobs, and how he can bring that experience to the White House," said Peter Hanson, DU political science professor.
DU junior Halter Cunningham is one of the few lucky ones to get a seat inside the debate hall.
"It's the first time in this race that they've really been together. So it'll be interesting to see how they go back and forth," Cunningham said.
For all the students without a ticket, the university is hosting "Debate Fest" on the quad with local bands and political talks. It all leads up to a debate watch-party.
"It's an incredibly unifying event. So regardless of partisan politics, we can all come together and experience this that's happening on our campus all together," said Winter Wall Walker, project coordinator.
Wednesday afternoon, both President Obama and Mitt Romney got about an hour each inside the debate hall to take a look around and get mentally prepared for the big debate.
Only 1,000 people were able to get tickets. Each campaign got a third of the seats and the University of Denver got the rest and the college raffled those tickets.
ABC12 Main Station