HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face-off in the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Long Island.

The debate was originally scheduled to be held at Wright State University in Ohio, but bowed out citing “cost and safety concerns.”

CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported that this debate will bring new challenges for Hofstra, despite the university holding presidential debates before.


“Everyone’s really excited that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are going to be coming here to this school,” student Dilan Mushayandebbu said.

“My cousins and family from Jersey are coming to see the debate, so I’m going to be excited,” student Hadayya Thabata explained.

The private university agreed to be on “stand by” if an alternate site was needed.

During the last week of September, the Sports and Exhibition Complex will be transformed into a stage for the ages – protecting the candidates and the public, which is a huge logistical task, as hundreds of extra law enforcement officers will be on the clock.

“Honestly, you can’t have too much security,” one person said.

Additional local security costs could exceed $700,000. Municipalities do not get reimbursed, though they do expect a windfall from restaurant and hotel bookings.

Those living in Nassau’s hub remember being inconvenienced in the past when presidential candidates faced off.

“Maybe they should have the debate somewhere else,” Nassau resident Eileen McKeon said. “This is a very busy area. It’s going to cause a lot of chaos.”

Sixteen schools across the country vied for the right to host a 2016 debate. Hofstra called it an honor and a privilege.

“To debate the issues in our backyard, what’s better? They’re both New Yorkers. Bring it on,” Nassau resident Christopher Cafaro said.

The commission has not yet announced moderators for the 90-minute long debate, which will take place on Sept. 26 at 9 p.m.

Hofstra spent about $5 million on the 2012 debate and the university expects this one will cost more, but donors and trustees are already on board to help with the funding.


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