Denver braces for presidential debate crush

October 3, 2012

The Associated Press

A volunteer prepares labels for seats in the debate hall ahead of the presidential debate.

DENVER  — The national political spotlight is again on Denver as President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney meet in their first debate.

Drivers are being warned that a six-mile stretch of Interstate 25 through southern Denver will be closed for five hours because of the debate at the University of Denver. The closure forced commuters to scramble for alternate routes or to take mass transit instead. Many decided to work from home or call in sick.

The university expects protesters and interested observers to gather outside the debate. The debate will be shown on screens in the "DebateFest" area for people who didn't get tickets.

Watch parties are also planned around the state, including one for 300 people at the new History Colorado Center.