2019 NDT University of Minnesota


Thursday, March 21, 2019  (All at Graduate Minneapolis)

9:00 AM-11:00 AM—Registration (Think 5)

11:00 AM-1:00 PM—NDT Board of Trustees Meeting (Think 5)

1:00 PM-4:00 PM—NDT Committee Meeting (Think 4)

4:00 PM-5:00 PM—Late Registration (Think 5)

6:30 PM—Reception and Pre-Tournament Awards (Meridian Ballroom)


Friday, March 22, 2019  (All Events on Campus—rounds in Coffman, Bruininks, Kolthoff, Appleby)

7:30 AM—Breakfast (Coffman Union—Great Hall)

8:00 AM—Announcement of Round I (8:50 start) (Coffman Union)

11:30 AM—Lunch (Coffman Union)

12:45 PM—Announcement of Round II (Start 1:35) (Coffman Union)

5:00PM—Announcement of Round III (5:50 start) (Coffman Union)


Saturday, March 23, 2019 (All Events on Campus—rounds in Coffman, Bruininks, Kolthoff, Appleby)

7:30 AM—Breakfast (Coffman Union)

8:00 AM—Announcement of Round IV (9:00 start) (Coffman Union)

11:45 AM—Lunch (Coffman Union)

12:50 PM—Announcement of Round V (1:50 start) (Coffman Union)

[Paws for Learning will have support dogs outside the Great Hall between rounds 5 and 6]

5:15 PM—Announcement of Round VI (6:15 start) (Coffman Union)


Sunday, March 24, 2019  (Campus/Hotel)

7:30 AM—Continental Breakfast (Coffman Union)

8:00 AM—Announcement of Round VII (Start 9:00) (Coffman Union)

11:45 AM—Lunch (Coffman Union)

12:50 PM—Announcement of Round VIII (Start 1:50)  (Coffman Union)

5:15 PM—Announcement First Elimination Round (Start 6:15) (Coffman Union)

9:30 PM—Awards Banquet (Graduate Minneapolis-Meridian Ballroom)


Monday, March 25, 2019 (All at Graduate Minneapolis-Entire 2nd Floor)

7:00 AM—Drawing of Octafinal judges/Continental Breakfast

7:30 AM—Announcement of Octafinals

8:00 AM—Octafinal round begins

*12:30 PM—Quarterfinal round begins

*5:30 PM—Semifinal round begins

*10:00 PM—Final Round begins (Meridian Ballroom)

* Approximate times – rounds will start as soon as possible after the previous round ends

Ground Transportation / Parking

You and your squad can have an excellent tournament experience without a renting a vehicle. From the airport baggage claim, follow signs for “Light Rail”. Once you get to the light rail stop, purchase passes (can buy up to 10 at a time with a credit card–fares are $2.00 or $2.50 per person). Get on a Blue Line train heading north (to Minneapolis). Then get off at the U.S. Bank Stadium stop, cross the tracks to the other platform, and board a Green Line train heading east (to St. Paul). Then get off at the UMN East Bank stop (second stop), which is less than a block from the Graduate hotel. If are you staying at the Marriott, you can get off at the first stop (UMN West Bank), and will have a two-block walk to the hotel. Total transit time is between 30 and 40 minutes. You can easily plan a trip using the light rail or buses here: https://www.metrotransit.org/

Both terminals have cab stands–you can follow signs from baggage claim. Cab fares from the airport to campus are typically $45-$50. Cab, Lyft, and Uber service in the campus / downtown areas is quick and convenient.

Parking on campus and near the Graduate is convenient, and not terribly expensive ($12 / day). The hotel’s lot is more expensive than the University garages, but does not have any height restrictions. The most convenient ramp to the Graduate hotel is the Washington Avenue Ramp (http://campusmaps.umn.edu/washington-avenue-parking-ramp), which is right across the street, and connected by a skybridge. The most convenient ramp to the Coffman* Memorial Union is the East River Garage (http://campusmaps.umn.edu/east-river-road-garage)–take the elevator up to the Plaza level, and cross the Plaza to the Union. If you have a large van (10/12/15 passenger) and are looking for less expensive parking options, you can park in one of the surface lots near TCF Stadium (esp. Lot 33 & Lot 37, https://www.pts.umn.edu/park/facilities/lot37), which are a 10 minute or so walk from the Graduate. You can find complete parking information here: https://www.pts.umn.edu/park/visitorparking.

Buildings in Use

Meals, announcements, and the reading of the pairings will be in the Coffman* Memorial Union’s Great Hall (http://campusmaps.umn.edu/coffman-memorial-union). Exit the Graduate on the Washington Avenue side (main entrance), cross Washington Avenue, and take a right–the Union is roughly 2.5 blocks, and you can enter through the front entrance (Washington Avenue side), which is on the first floor. The Great Hall is on the ground level (one level down), which can be accessed via either escalator or elevator. The Union has a **lot** of public work spaces on the ground and first levels, and we should be the only group using the building during the tournament. Please note that the food court and Starbucks in the Union will **not** be open during the tournament. There is a Starbucks attached to the Graduate, and a Caribou Coffee across Washington Avenue from the Graduate. If you are a “claims table” kind of team, please note that the Union will open **at** 7am.

Rounds will take place in the Union (third floor), Appleby Hall, Bruininks Hall, and Kolthoff Hall. The non-Union buildings are across Washington Avenue (north) from the Union.

The Union rooms are accessible via stairs or elevator, both located at the east and west ends of the main hallway at the front of the Union.

Bruininks is a short walk from the Union. Exit the front of the Union from the first floor, and follow the sidewalk that bears left. You will pass the Weisman Art Museum, bear right, and then cross a (level) bridge over Washington Avenue (if you find yourself on a covered walkway over the Mississippi, turn around and then turn left when you exit the covered walkway). Bruininks is the modern, glassy structure immediately across the bridge. The elevator is on the south side of the building, and there are stairs on both the north and south sides of the building. Building information can be found here: http://campusmaps.umn.edu/robert-h-bruininks-hall

Appleby is the building immediately to the north of (behind) Bruininks. Follow the directions to Bruininks, and walk past Bruininks (with Bruininks to your left). Appleby will then be to the front-left. Appleby has two elevators, one on the south side of the building and one in the center of the building.  Building information can be found here: http://campusmaps.umn.edu/appleby-hall

Kolthoff can be accessed either by following the directions to Bruininks, and then taking a right / crossing Pleasant Street once you get to Bruininks, or by exiting Coffman and crossing the western pedestrian bridge over Washington Avenue (this bridge has a few stairs). All of the competition rooms are on the basement level of Kolthoff, which can be accessed via a stairway on the east (right) side of the building or an elevator/stairway on the west (left) side. Building information can be found here: http://campusmaps.umn.edu/kolthoff-hall

Appleby, Bruininks, and Coffman all have gender-neutral bathrooms. Participants in Kolthoff can access a gender-neutral bathroom in Smith Hall, which is connected by elevator to Kolthoff (the Kolthoff competition rooms are actually **under** Smith–no idea why). You can find a map of gender-neutral restrooms here:


We have also designated the bathroom on the south side of the Great Room (behind the podium) as gender-neutral.

Bruininks 220 is the designated quiet room. There are also many out-of-the-way enclaves in the Union (ground and first level) and Bruininks (all levels).

Scouting / Tournament Service

All persons attending the National Debate Tournament affiliated with a program are expected to be competing, in the judging pool for at least 4 debates, or providing service to the tournament. For non-judges / non-competitors, this means assisting in the tournament’s scouting effort **unless** you have made prior arrangements with the Tournament Director, Dr. Sarah Partlow-Lefevre. The scouting effort will be headed up by Benton Bajorek of the University of Kansas, with the assistance of Josiah Ferguson and Hamza Jamal.

All scouts should fill out this form prior to the Thursday awards ceremony.

There will also be a mandatory (less than 15 minutes) scouting meeting immediately following the Thursday awards ceremony in the Meridian ballroom at the Graduate.

Team Photos

We will be taking team photos at the Graduate on Thursday afternoon, between 2pm and 6pm. You can sign your squad up for a time slot here:


Elimination Day

On Monday, the hotel will have food and beverage carts on the first floor–sandwiches and other “quick food” will be available for purchase. Competitors and judges are allowed to bring in outside food, although the hotel has asked that teams avoid setting up buffet lines. The tournament will be covering coffee service during the day for judges and competitors. The elimination debates will be held on the second floor. You can find a map of the second floor layout here (“Breakout 1” is now “Think 1”, etc.): https://www.graduatehotels.com/minneapolis/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2017/04/minn_venues_floorplans_capacity.pdf


UMN is an EDUROAM campus–we strongly recommend that you use this network if you are able (if prompted, use the login credentials for your home institution). Other participants can log onto the umn-guest network (no password required).

Weather Outlook

The current forecast calls for unseasonably warm temperatures (for Minnesota) during the tournament–highs in the upper 40s and into the 50s, with lows around 30, plus a chance of rain on Sunday. There is still quite a bit of snow on the ground, but the sidewalks are dry (no need for boots). If you are used to a temperate climate, you should be fine with a jacket–if not, the nights will feel quite chilly.


Smoking, vaping, etc. are prohibited on campus. The University’s policy states, in part:

“The University of Minnesota, Crookston, Duluth, Rochester, and Twin Cities are smoke- and tobacco-free campuses. All students, staff, faculty, and visitors are prohibited from smoking and using, selling, free distributing, and advertising tobacco products and electronic cigarettes in all facilities and on all University property.”

You can find the full policy here: https://policy.umn.edu/operations/smoketobacco

Folks have been known to smoke on the sidewalks along streets (Delaware, Washington, Pleasant) and on the Washington Avenue Bridge (over the Mississippi) without adverse enforcement, **but** those areas technically fall under the University’s policy. Smoking / vaping in buildings risks a fine and our access to the entire building.


If you are looking for delivery, Amazon, Grubhub, etc. offer a wide array of options (zipcode: 55455). Many of the restaurants near campus also provide delivery options.

These restaurants are in the Stadium Village area, directly to the east of The Graduate hotel (turn left as you leave the front entrance)

  • Afro Deli (Somali)
  • Applebees (if you must)
  • Blaze Pizza
  • Bona Vietnam
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Burger King
  • Caspian Bistro
  • Chipotle
  • El Loro Mexican Grill
  • Hong Kong Noodle
  • Kimchi Tofu House (Gopher Debate favorite)
  • Korea Restaurant
  • Kowloon
  • Little Szechuan (very good, many veg* options)
  • Mesa Pizza (unusual topping combos)
  • MyBurger
  • Noodles & Co.
  • Raising Canes
  • Stub and Herbs
  • Tea House

These restaurants are in the Riverside / Seven Corners area (near the Courtyard / UMN East Bank)

  • Acadia
  • Barrakallah (Somali)
  • Chipotle
  • Hard Times Cafe
  • Jambo! Kitchen
  • Jewel of India (lower quartile of Twin Cities Indian restaurants, but, close)
  • Lucky Dragon
  • Malabari Kitchen
  • Masha Allah
  • Mediterranean Deli
  • Red Sea
  • Republic
  • Sagal Restaurant
  • Townhall Brewery

These restaurants are in Dinkytown (north edge of campus), a less-than-10-minute walk from The Graduate

  • Al’s Breakfast (there will be a line, and there is a reason for it)
  • Annie’s Parlor
  • Blarney Pub & Grill
  • Burrito Loco
  • D.P. Dough
  • Erbert & Gerberts
  • Five Guys
  • Frank from Philly & Andrea Pizza
  • Kbop Korean Bistro
  • Loring Pasta Bar
  • McDonalds
  • Mesa Pizza
  • Purple Onion
  • Qdoba
  • Shuang Cheng (solid take-out)
  • Subway
  • Tim Hortons

The following restaurants are veg*-friendly. If you would like recommendations, please reach out to DCH:

  • Birchwood Cafe (farm-to-table)
  • Blackbird Cafe (brunch + eclectic)
  • Common Roots Cafe
  • Eureka Compass
  • Fasika’s (Ethiopian)
  • Fig + Farro
  • Foxy Falafel (Mediterranean)
  • French Meadow (parent restaurant of the branches in MSP, DIA, etc.)
  • Ghebre’s (Eritrean)
  • Hai Hai (Southeast Asian / fusion)
  • Hard Times Cafe (vegan-only, diner)
  • Herbivorous Butcher (vegan-only)
  • Holy Land (Mideast / Mediterranean)
  • J.Selby’s (vegan-only, diner + eclectic)
  • Kimchi Tofu House (Korean)
  • Pizza Luce (vegan- and gluten free-friendly–pizza + subs + pasta)
  • Reverie (vegan)
  • Revival
  • Seward Cafe
  • Spoonriver (New American)
  • World Street Kitchen (multiple options)

Finally, DCH’s recommendations:

  • Blue Door (Jucy Lucy’s, veg*-friendly)
  • Brasa Rotisseries (veg*-friendly)
  • Broder’s Pasta Bar***
  • Cafe / Restaurant Alma (breakfast / prix fixe)
  • Colossal Cafe** (breakfast)
  • Grand Pad Thai
  • Hai Hai (Southeast Asian / fusion)
  • Hen House Eatery (breakfast)
  • Himalayan (Nepalese)
  • Homi (Tex-Mex)
  • Nicollet Diner (24-hour diner, veg*-friendly)
  • Pizzeria Lola***
  • Quang (Vietnamese)
  • Saint Dinnette
  • Spoon & Stable
  • Travail


We are fortunate to have some highly-renowned breweries in the Twin Cities, and many of the finest craft breweries are relatively close to campus. The following options are within easy walking distance of the METRO light-rail:

  • Surly Brewing: https://surlybrewing.com/
  • Barrel Theory: https://barreltheory.com/
  • Day Block Brewing: https://www.dayblockbrewing.com/
  • Townhall Brewery: http://www.townhallbrewery.com/

These breweries are only a short Uber ride away:

  • 612 Brew: https://612brew.com/
  • Bauhaus Brew Labs: http://bauhausbrewlabs.com/
  • Blackstack Brewing: https://www.blackstackbrewing.com/
  • Burning Brothers (gluten-free): https://www.burnbrosbrew.com/
  • Fair State Brewing Cooperative: https://fairstate.coop/
  • Fulton Beer: http://www.fultonbeer.com/
  • Indeed Brewing Company: https://www.indeedbrewing.com/
  • Lake Monster Brewing: http://www.lakemonsterbrewing.com/
  • Sociable Ciderwerks: https://www.sociablecider.com/

Hotel and Room Information

The hotels for the 73rd NDT hosted by the University of Minnesota are now accepting reservations.

The main hotel is The Graduate, [https://www.graduatehotels.com/minneapolis/] which is located on the campus.  It is a five- to ten-minute walk from the hotel to the Union where the announcement room will be and the various competition buildings.  The METRO Light Rail from the airport stops in front of the hotel.  We highly recommend that you not rent a vehicle as parking is not included in the rate at the hotel and is expensive.  You will not need a vehicle to access competitions or restaurants.  For people driving to the tournament, the campus has satellite lots that are a 10-15 minute walk from the Graduate hotel, and have a much lower daily rate.

The rate for the hotel is $140 per room for up to four persons, and $194 for suites.  Internet is included in the rate.  The cutoff date for reservations is February 26, 2019.

You can make reservations in two ways:

Call 612-379-8888, Press 1 for Reservations and ask for the National Debate Tournament.



We have also secured a block of rooms at the Courtyard by Marriott, [https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mspdc-courtyard-minneapolis-downtown/].  It is one stop further from The Graduate on the METRO Light Rail.  The rates are $135.00 for up to four people per room.  The cut-off date to make reservations is February 19, 2019.   The Courtyard is adjacent to campus, but it is fifteen- to twenty-minute walk to the Union and competition rooms.

To make reservations, mention the group name ‘National Debate Tournament’ via phone (877-699-3216) or to book online use the reservation link below…

Book your group rate for National Debate Tournament


Free workspace is available in classroom buildings adjacent to The Graduate on Thursday, March 21 2019. If you would like to reserve a room for your team, please contact Dr. David Cram Helwich before March 10, 2019 [[email protected]]