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Nextstar Media Group, Inc. Illinois Governor's Debate. Thursday, October 6 at 7 p.m. Presented by AARP and Illinois State University

2022 Gubernatorial Debate

A gubernatorial debate between Democratic Governor JB Pritzker and Republican challenger Darren Bailey will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 6, in Braden Auditorium on the campus of Illinois State University. Admission to Braden Auditorium is for ticketed audience members only.

The debate will be hosted by Nexstar Media Group and presented by AARP and Illinois State University. The event will be televised live on Nexstar affiliates throughout the state including Central Illinois' WMBD-TV and radio broadcast on NPR affiliates WGLT and WCBU, and will be covered by La Voz, the Spanish-language section of the Sun-Times. As the event will be a live broadcast, in-person audience size will be limited.

Debate Audience Information & Protocols

By accepting a ticket to attend the Gubernatorial Debate, the attendee agrees to the following set of rules and guidelines. If a ticket holder fails to comply or does not follow the guidelines as agreed upon, they can be refused entry or be required to leave the facility.

Arrival and Seating Times

  • Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are required to enter the Braden Auditorium.
  • All guests will pass through a security screening, that includes a metal detector and/or wanding.
  • No smoking or vaping in the facility.
  • Audience members must be seated by 6:40 p.m., 20 minutes before the start of the debate, and remain in their seats for the duration.
  • Doors will be closed by 6:50 p.m. If an audience member leaves after 6:50 p.m., re-entry will not be permitted.

Dress Code

  • No ripped or torn clothes
  • Shoes are required
  • Audience members may not wear accessories (including buttons) or clothing identifiable with any candidate or party.

Decorum by ticket holders during event

  • No shouting or yelling inside the auditorium or ticket holder can be removed by security. There must be no extraneous noise of any kind to distract from the live broadcast and what the candidates have to say.
  • Cheering or clapping is encouraged only when the candidates are introduced on stage and upon completion of the debate.
  • Flash photography and motor drives are not allowed inside.
  • Any recording of the debate, either through video or photograph, is strictly prohibited. All mobile phones or devices must be in silent mode. The only cameras that are permitted are those in use for the official broadcast.
  • All demonstrations/protests relating to the event must be in accordance with the Bone Student Center (BSC) policy which provides that demonstrating/protesting may take place as long as the following occur:
    • Signs/posters are allowed but must be held by a person and not on a stick or any other type of attachment.
    • Demonstrators may not speak out, yell, or cause any type of disruption to the meeting/event.
    • Demonstrators may not block entry or exit ways to the building or events.
    • Demonstrators may not block the concourse.
    • Any deviation from these rules will result in removal from the building.

Approved Items

Small bags up to 4.5” X 6.5”; cell phones; binoculars (no cases); Clear, unopened/sealed bottle of water (under 20 oz.) (no refillable water bottles), medical bags and equipment.

Prohibited Items

Bags bigger than 4.5” X 6.5”; clothing with candidate or party names, logos, etc.; weapons; food, beverage, and containers (including cups, cans, thermoses, etc.); alcoholic beverages; animals (except service animals); signs, noisemakers, flags, flagpoles, or banners; strollers and folding chairs; any item that obstructs or impairs the view or enjoyment of another attendee; apparel or signage displaying profanity or abusive language; projectiles (including footballs, Frisbees and beach balls); aerosol and spray cans; video camera, tripods and selfie sticks; umbrellas.


Parking will be available in the visitor parking lot on the north side of Bone Student Center. Overflow parking will also be available. Signs will direct guests to parking areas.


If you need an accommodation to fully participate in this program/event, please contact Julie Barnhill, Director of Presidential and Trustee Events at (309) 438-8790 and by email at Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.