Republican debate to bring parking closures, lack of student tickets
Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 02:01
Though USF will provide the stage for the Republican National Debate, most students and faculty won't have a firsthand look at the potential presidents.
Because of limited space, the debate, which will be held at 9 p.m. Jan. 23 in Theatre I, will not be open to the public, University spokeswoman Lara Wade-Martinez said.
"Between the sponsors and the candidates, there are no public tickets available (as of now)," she said.
According to USF News, some parking areas will be temporarily closed to accommodate NBC's debate setup.
Lots 3A and 3B will close beginning today. Lot 5A resident parking will close Saturday, Jan. 21 and Lots 3C and 9C will close Monday, Jan. 23. The Marshall Student Center's (MSC) Cedar Circle will also be closed Jan. 23, and the Bull Runner will not stop at the MSC that day. Alternate parking will be available in the Crescent Hill and Laurel garages as well as alternate lots for R, D and E permits.
The D route will turn around at a temporary stop in Lot 3D on Holly Drive, and the F route will turn around at Lot 3D. Normal parking and Bull Runner services will resume Jan. 24.
Tickets will be distributed by sponsors such as the Tampa Bay Times, NBC and the National Review, though some public tickets may become available to USF after NBC finishes setting up the theater this week.
Wade-Martinez said the University's first priority would be to provide students with any available tickets.
"We're still thrilled they selected USF," she said. "It will put us in the national spotlight to millions of viewers."
The debate was originally slated to be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Jan. 30, but when the Florida primary was moved up to Jan. 31, the candidates requested to push up the date of the debate and the venue was no longer available. Wade-Martinez said the debate sponsors selected USF as the new host.
For those unable to attend the debate, Student Government (SG) will host a watch party in the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza outside the theater, where a live stream of the debate will show in a tented area with 800 seats. The tent will open at 7:30 p.m. and free food will be provided.