Wright State will not host the presidential debate

The university was millions of dollars away from the estimated $8 million needed to host the debate

Trump, Clinton battle it out in 2016's new social media landscape. (AP file)

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN/AP) – The first presidential general election debate is moving to New York after Wright State University withdrew as host on Tuesday, citing rising security concerns and costs.

2 NEWS Investigates reported earlier this year that the university was millions of dollars away from the estimated $8 million needed to host the debate.

It was scheduled for Monday, September 26 at the Nutter Center and was to be the first presidential debate of the campaign season.

The university is in the midst of financial challenges. This spring, WSU announced that it needed it cut about $27 million from Wright State’s budget over the next two years.

They plan to cut expenses, raise graduate and out-of-state tuition by 3 percent and cut staff.

“When you don’t have enough money, you have to stop doing certain things. Some things that aren’t being productive, we are looking at them and when we do that we have to give people notice their jobs..the work is not going to be available anymore,” said President David Hopkins said at the time.

WSU leaders say they’re trying to limit the impact to employees by making those reductions through attrition and a voluntary retirement incentive program.

President Hopkins insisted the university would not be footing the bill. As of July 5, $2 million had been raised in pledged cash and sponsorships.

2 NEWS called the Commission on Presidential Debates this afternoon for a comment. In a statement, they said:

In light of Wright State University’s announcement of earlier today, the September 26, 2016 Presidential Debate will be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. The Commission very much appreciates Wright State’s efforts. Hofstra University served very successfully as a presidential debate site in 2012. On September 23, 2015, the Commission announced that Hofstra University had agreed to serve as an alternate site this debate cycle if needed. The Commission looks forward to working with Hofstra once again.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced quickly that Hofstra University would take over. The Hempstead, New York, school had agreed last year to serve as an alternate site. Hofstra hosted a debate in 2012.

The shift means the first debate will be in the home state of the two major parties’ presumptive nominees.


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