Wright State University is backing out of plans to host one of the presidential debates later this year over safety and financial concerns, the school announced Tuesday.
The cost of security had grown since WSU in Fairborn, Ohio, originally agreed to host the debate, university President David Hopkins told the Dayton Daily News. WSU expected to pay $3.5 million, but now the event is expected to cost around $8 million, he said in a news conference.
The recent attack in Nice, France, added to the school's concerns about security, Hopkins said.
“I can’t assure the safety of our students and the community,” Hopkins told the Dayton Daily News.
He added in a WSU release that “there has been a growing crescendo of concern about what it would take to guarantee the safety and security of the campus and the community. The expense would be daunting.”
Previous debates have cost around $3 million for hosting universities, but sites such as Lynn University in 2012 saw $13 million brought into the area from the debate and related events, which is why WSU had earlier defended the expense.
But because WSU is a public university, not a private one, it cannot restrict public access to campus, which the school said adds to security challenges.