OXFORD, MS (WMC-TV) - On the Ole Miss campus, the Gertrude Ford Center sits deserted right now.
This story is not about what is happening right now, though. Instead, it's about the future and what will happen.
1,188 empty seats will turn into 1,188 full seats.
Plus, the rest of the America will focus on this very theater and the two people standing front and center on one big stage.
On September 26th, Ole Miss will host the first in a series of presidential debates. The republican nominee will square off with the democratic nominee.
Two years ago, Ole Miss applied to host the debate at a cost of $2.5 million.
University Vice Chancellor Gloria Kellum says the effort will be well worth it for three main reasons.
First, she says, Ole Miss students will be part of unique learning opportunity.
Second, Oxford is a town of about 10,000 people and 700 hotel rooms.
In other words, she says, the rest of the region will benefit economically.
"This was a great opportunity for people to understand the south, mississippi, Ole Miss and the University of Mississippi, and Oxford. So we felt it was important that we take advantage of this opportunity," vice chancellor Gloria Kellum said.
Kellum said that private donors are helping foot the bill for that presidential debate.
Most of the public tickets for that debate will be open to Ole Miss students only.