Wright State Pulls Out of Hosting First Presidential Debate

Protesters outside a rally for Donald Trump in San Jose, Calif. / AP

Wright State University has announced it will not host the first presidential debate in September due to concerns about security and costs, according to Cleveland.com.

Wright State president David Hopkins said the decision broke his heart but that the school was not able to raise enough money to hold the event or sufficiently address security concerns.

"I can’t assure the safety of our students and the community," Wright State president David Hopkins told the Dayton Daily News. "I wanted it so much for our students," Hopkins said. "I hate this decision. It hurts my heart."

According to the newspaper, the university needed to raise $8 million for the event, but had only raised about $3.5 million so far.

The report said $500,000 had already been spent renovating the debate venue, the Nutter Center. Hopkins hopes to recover some of the $2 million advance the school paid to host the debate.

Wright State Board of Trustees chair Michael Bridges called pulling out of the debate "the responsible thing to do" in a statement released by the university. "While the community has been overwhelmingly supportive of Wright State hosting the debate, the safety and security of the campus and community is of paramount importance," he said.

The debate will reportedly be held at Hofstra University instead. Hofstra also hosted one of the presidential debates in 2012.

The first showdown between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican opponent Donald Trump is highly anticipated, with expectations that it will set ratings records.