Red, white and blue lights illuminate Wright State University’s Nutter Center in honor of its selection Sept. 23, 2015, as the site of the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, 2016. (Jim Noelker/Staff)

Wright State withdraws presidential debate: 5 things to know

Wright State University President David Hopkins announced Tuesday that the university is withdrawing as host of the first presidential debate.

Here are five things to know:

  1. Why did Wright State withdraw from the debate? Wright State president David Hopkins cited escalating costs for security and the inability to raise money as the main reasons the university decided to cancel the debate. Hopkins said he was motivated in part by security concerns raised by the recent attack in Nice, France
  2. Where is the debate going? The Commission on Presidential Debates said the Sept. 26 debate will now be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. Hofstra University hosted a debate in 2012, and the unviersity had agreed to serve as an alternate site if needed.
  3. What is happening to the money spent?: Hopkins informed the Commission on Presidential Debates at noon today, and hopes to recoup at least some of the $2 million fee that was paid to the Commission in advance. Approximately $500,000 had been spent already on Nutter Center upgrades.
  4. Will donors get money back? Hopkins said $2 million in gifts and pledges will be utilized for student and debate related activities. He said the school plans on speaking with donors to see if money can be returned.
  5. Reaction from the community is mixed: The Greene County Sheriff said he is shocked at the news, and the faculty union said withdrawing from the debate is “a smart thing to do.”

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