"A big deal!" UWM senior one of 25 who will be inside Helen Bader Concert Hall during debate

MILWAUKEE -- There are only a select few who will get to see the Democratic presidential debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Thursday evening, February 11th in person -- and even fewer UWM students who will be in the audience. The Helen Bader Concert Hall seats about 580 people, but only 25 students get to go.

Shannon Kirsch, a senior at UWM

"This is like, a big deal!" Shannon Kirsch, a senior at UWM said. "It's been exciting for me, my friends, my family, etc."

Kirsch is one of just 25 UWM students who were selected via a lottery to receive a ticket to the Democratic presidential debate set to begin at 8:00 p.m. Thursday at UWM. Students in good academic standing were invited to submit their named to the lottery.

"I was having a really bad day before I found out, and then I was like 'Oh my God' and then I like, called my mom and she was like 'Oh my God' and then I called my boyfriend and he was like 'Oh my God,'" Kirsch said.

The debate will pit U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Thursday's debate will be the first after the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. Sanders won the primary for the Democrats, and Donald Trump won for the GOP.

There are no more tickets available for the debate.

On the eve of the debate, crews were hard at work making last-minute preparations on the UWM campus.

Democratic debate preparations at UWM

"The lighting hang is done, the scenic is all done. We`re just doing a few finishing touches," Randall Trumbull-Holper facilities director at UWM's Peck School of the Arts said.

Kirsch says she and the other 24 students selected to see the debate in person are expecting heavy security.

Democratic debate preparations at UWM

Kirsch said she is looking forward to being a part of it.

"Don`t miss the debate. It`s very like, historic," Kirsch said.

Kirsch said students taking part in the debate will have to take a shuttle to the facility, as foot traffic to the Helen Bader Concert Hall is not allowed.

Important traffic notes for Thursday in Milwaukee:

The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) is partnering with the Department of Public Works (DPW), the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), and other local stakeholders to inform the public of traffic and pedestrian impacts due to the Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Thursday, February 11th, 2016 at the UWM Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.

The public should be aware of the following:

    Additional traffic information:

      The debate is a ticketed event, is sold out, and only those with tickets may enter the event. Pedestrian access adjacent to the event will be restricted beginning at 8:00 a.m.

      Parking in the UWM area will be in high demand. Those coming to the area are asked to plan ahead by allowing extra travel time, be prepared to walk several blocks to the event, or use public transportation.

      MPD will have extra officers in the area to ensure safety and security, and to assist the public during the event.

      Traffic map for Democratic presidential debate at UWM

      CLICK HERE for further traffic information related to the Democratic presidential debate at UWM.