Let's Get Political

Top Austin watch parties for the first presidential debate

Top Austin watch parties for the first presidential debate

Donald Trump
Trump and Clinton face off Monday, September 26. Photo courtesy of The White House
Hillary Clinton
We've rounded up the best places to watch the debate. Hillary Clinton/Facebook
Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton

As Mike Buffer used to say, "Let’s get ready to rumble." On Monday, September 26, heavyweight contenders Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump enter the ring to answer NBC news anchor Lester Holt's hopefully tenacious questions during the first presidential debate of 2016.

The hype and the vitriolic atmosphere of this year's campaign season make this the most eagerly anticipated match-up since the Frazier-Ali "Fight of the Century." With the audience predicted to top 100 million viewers, the debate could mean a 20 percent dip for ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast — unprecedented.

The debate will be carried by all of the broadcast networks, many of the cable networks, and several streaming options, but if you want to share the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as the gladiators square off, there are several options to watch the spectacle or commune and commiserate with your tribe.

The debate starts at 8 pm on Monday, September 26. Here's where to watch.

Alamo Drafthouse
What could possibly be more fun than watching them go at it live and on the really big screen? Hold your seat by purchasing a $5 voucher. Children 6 and up allowed with an adult. Show starts at 7:55 pm at multiple Drafthouse locations.

Black Star Co-op
Come one, come all: Do 512 is hosting a debate watch party at Black Star with fine craft beers and snacks fit for a president. There is no cover and everyone is welcome. 

City Lights Theater
Join the Williamson County Republicans in Georgetown at the City Lights Theater. Settle back with popcorn and traditional refreshments and let the games begin. There is a suggested donation of $5; RSVP by sending an email to info@williamsoncountygop.org with the names of attendees.

HI Austin
Mingle with the international crowd and gain a new perspective watching the debate with travelers from near and far at this local hostel. This free event is BYOB and there are snacks if you wish. The hosts ask that you share "respectful perspectives" while watching the debate.

LBJ Library and Museum
The Texas Tribune, KUT, and the LBJ Future Forum have teamed up for a unique debate watching party. Beginning at 7 pm, you can join Texas Tribune's Jay Root, KUT Austin's Ben Philpott, and Texas Politics Project director Jim Henson for a taping of The Ticket — a look at presidential politics from the Texas perspective. The debate then begins at 8 pm as Clinton and Trump square off. Drinks and appetizers will be served. RSVP to attend; must be 21 or older.

The North Door
It's huge! Watch the debate up close and personal on a 25-foot screen at the North Door. There's no cover, and doors open at 7 pm with drink specials.

Scholz Garten
Feeling blue in a red state? Join the Travis County Dems and Battleground Texas for the first presidential debate at Scholz Garten. The event is free to attend, but a $25 donation will get you a free drink and appetizer.