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You can watch next week’s Democratic show...if you got the dough

For $4,500, a sponsor gets two tickets to a pre-debate reception on June 26 and two tickets to both debate nights.
The Adrienne Arsht Center is getting Verizon network enhancements. [PAUL MORRIS | Miami Herald]
Published Jun. 18
Updated Jun. 18

Thought you couldn’t get a ticket to the first presidential debate in Miami?

If you’ve got about $1,750 to burn, you’re in luck.

According to a private invite obtained by the Miami Herald from a Democratic politician, the Florida Democratic Party is offering exclusive access to the highly sought-after event in the form of sponsorship packages.

For $4,500, a sponsor gets two tickets to a pre-debate reception on June 26 and two tickets to both debate nights. For $3,000, a sponsor will get the two tickets to the reception and two tickets for one of the debate nights, though it is unclear if the person gets to pick which night. A $1,750 donation to the party covers one ticket to the reception and one ticket for a single debate night.

Only have $250 to spare? That will buy your way into the private reception, the location of which is not disclosed on the invite.

The FDP did not immediately respond to requests for comment on how many tickets are being set aside for the sponsorship packages, but said it has set aside 270 of its 300 allotted complimentary tickets for grassroots supporters, elected officials and community leaders.

By virtue of subtraction, that would leave just 30 tickets for sale to the lucky sponsors.

The Miami-Dade Democrats were also given a block of tickets, which were allotted to grassroots activists and Democratic leaders who were active in voter registration and “Democratic engagement,” chairman Steve Simeonidis said. The distribution of the tickets was agreed upon by the county party’s leadership team of elected officers.

“None of them were paid for,” Simeonidis said. “All of them were given away.”

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, where the debates are being held, holds 2,200 and the seats have been going fast. Interested folks from California to Cutler Bay have been inundating the Democratic National Committee and host network NBC with requests for tickets, but the access has been scarce.

Not the lucky recipient (or purchaser) of a ticket?

The debate will air live across NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo from 9 to 11 p.m. both nights. The debate will also stream online free on NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com and the NBC News mobile app as well as Telemundo’s digital platforms.


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