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Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
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On balance, public subsidies for professional athletic organizations in the United States benefit th

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2015 Category: Sports
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 926 times Debate No: 71533
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)




Resolution: On balance, public subsidies for professional athletic organizations in the United States benefit their local communities.

Subsidy: A grant of money that is given by the government to an industry or business so that the price of a service or commodity can remain low.
Investment: A sum of money that is borrowed by a business with the intent of making additional profit for the investor and business.
Professional: engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
Athletics Organizations: Sports unions which provide the major income for their players, staff, and executives.
Professional Sports Organization: A team that is paying its players with a monetary value in the form of cash as opposed to other compensation; when players are compensated and not paid the organization is considered "amateur" making college, high school, and all other level sports where competitors are not paid "amateur".
Local Communities: The community locally associated with a sports organization.

C1: It creates lots of debt.
Giving public subsidies to sports takes large amounts of money from other government funds and creates a large amount of debt. James Runzheimer, a lawyer, said about building sports stadiums through subsidies, "It"s part of the corruption of the federal tax system. It"s use of government funds to subsidize activity that the private sector can finance on its own." According to Bloomberg, building, maintaining, etc., sports facilities is costing the US Treasury $146 million a year. Also, there are 21 NFL teams that play in stadiums that have been built or fixed up in the past 25 years. Dennis Zimmerman, a retired Congressional Research Service economist, place the annual cost of these 21 stadiums at $24.3 million, all coming from taxpayers. The debt for the new Cowboy"s stadium is $321.5 million, also coming from taxpayers. There are many other examples of this all throughout the country which results in people spending lots of money that will not be returned.

C2: It doesn"t bolster local economies.
Professional sports stadiums don"t bolster economies because they are financed by pension cuts according to Economist Victor Matheson said, "Sports stadiums typically aren"t a good tool for economic development. Take whatever number the sports promoter says; take it and move the decimal one place to the left. Divided it by ten, and that"s a pretty good estimate of the actual economic impact." An article on stated, "A $19 billion subsidy is planned to be cutting as many as 700 librarians and 300 police officers." An article on the Illinois News Bureau said that a study done by sports economist Brad Humphreys and his colleague Dennis Coates revealed the statistical negative impacts on the local economy. Some of these are an average net loss of 1,924 jobs and a reduction in wages at restaurants and bars. A major negative impact would be that crime would increase in the community due to the heavy cut in law enforcement, and the economy would lose money because of the job loss and decrease of wages.

C3: Sports don"t really need subsidies.
Public subsidies to support sports aren"t even really necessary. According to MLive, the Michigan Whitecaps and the Great Lakes Loons, two minor league baseball teams in Michigan, built and run everything through private investment funds. Lew Chamberlin, the CEO of the Whitecaps said, "That was probably the smartest thing we ever did. It gave us complete control of the franchise. It meant we were in no way beholden to any public bodies." Chamberlin continues, saying that the stadium generates reasonable returns, making them able to continue to upgrade their stadium. The Loons" baseball park cost $34 million. It was built on donated land, and funded by a nonprofit organization. When the ballpark opened in 1994 it broke the national Class A attendance record that season with 475,212 fans, which shows that without bringing on tons of debt and wasting tax dollars, teams can still make a great stadium that lots of people like.


I'll accept this debate! First, I'd like to thank my opponent for choosing the September/October National PF topic. I would assume that my opponent has experience in actually debating this case, which should make this fun! In this speech I'll be outlining my points.

On balance, public subsidies for professional athletic organizations in the United States benefit their local communities. I affirm this resolution for the following four reasons:

Sports stadiums offer job opportunities
Sports stadiums allow players and leagues to pay taxes which benefit the local community
Sports stadiums have alternate uses
Privately funded stadiums are ineffective at the above benefits

Contention 1:

New sports stadiums create a multitude of jobs. According to the Associated Press, the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium has created more than 4,000 part and full time jobs. In 2011 when there were concerns of a cancelled NFL season due to a work stoppage, activist James Parks concluded that more than 115,000 jobs across the country could be lost due to this one disagreement. Parks also stated that the average NFL team employs 3,739 people, and without stadiums there is not a need for these jobs. The creation of stadiums also employs thousands of construction workers. According to Mortenson Construction, the first year of construction of the new Vikings stadium alone will supply 1,600 construction workers with over 900,000 hours of employment. Nearly 300 million in wages will be paid in the operation of this stadium. According to the International Convention of Sports and Leisure, the economic activity caused by the new stadium will generate over $26 million a year in tax dollars and over $145 million from spending by Vikings fans in Minnesota. In comparison, the state only expended 348 million in the construction of this stadium.

Contention 2:

Professional athletes and leagues pay an exorbitant amount of money in taxes. In 2013, federal taxes owed by football, basketball, and baseball players exceeded 3 billion dollars, averaging over a million per player. While the NFL is exempt from taxes, its 32 franchises are not. Team clubs contribute 4.3 billion taxable dollars annually. In comparison, the public sector has only invested 7 billion in stadium subsidies in the past twenty years. This means that in the past 20 years, taxes from team clubs alone have contributed 79 billion more than the public sector has invested. Most of tax dollars end up benefiting the local community with the construction of roads, and the improvement of public education also provide health care and emergency services.

Contention 3:

Sports stadiums offer alternative uses. Many stadiums are used as shelters during natural disasters. 10,000 people took shelter in Qualcomm Stadium during forest fires in California. This was similar to the use of the Reliant Astrodome during Hurricane Katrina, where 25,000 evacuees took shelter. Stadiums can also be used as public venues for concerts and academic tournaments such as MATHCOUNTS. Approximately 140,000 students attend these competitions annually, and nearly all of them are held in sports stadiums. Cultural festivals are held in stadiums as well. For example, NRG stadium recently held the Junta Hispa"a Culture Festival that reminds citizens of the richness of their culture. The International Gem and Jewelry Show will be held in NRG stadium, along with the Houston Wedding Showcase, not to mention the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This rodeo contributes over 320 million regional dollars annually. In this way, stadiums improve the happiness and education of their area, as well as promoting safety and improving public morale.

Contention 4:

Privately funded stadiums, considered an alternative to public stadiums, cannot be built in optimal locations. Due to the eminent domain law, only the government can confiscate private property for public use. Therefore, privately funded stadiums cannot be built in occupied locations that would have positive economic outcomes. According to a study by Arthur C. Nelson at the Georgia Institute of Technology, "If a decision has been made to construct a
stadium, locating it in the CBD will probably generate greater economic benefits than locating it in the suburbs; indeed, if the facility is built elsewhere, it may lead to localized blight that dampens the MSA share of regional income."

For these reasons, I affirm that public subsidies for athletic organizations are needed.

I'll use the second and third round to respond to my opponent's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to first thank my opponent for engaging in the debate.

A road map to the following round of debate.
1) I will counter points made by the side of the pro.
2) I will conclude my speech stating why the CON has won the debate.

So lets dive into the points made by the affirmative sides.

Affirmative Contention 1: New sports stadiums create a multitude of jobs.

I am actually really glad you brought this up, however, I will have to point out that the fact that if the Dallas Cowboys AT&T stadium that you conveniently bring up, were built using private funds it would still provide the same 4,000 part time jobs. Same goes for every single other sports stadium because the fact of the matter is quoting the 1989 film Field of Dreams... "If You Build It They will Come"... They being people looking for jobs at the stadium you built.
That being said this PRO contention really works out best for the CON so that is why I aim turning it to support my side of the resolution and the argument that the Pro tried to make does not stand.

Affirmative Contention 2: Professional Athletes and Leagues Pay an Exorbitant amount of Money in Taxes.

Another great point made by the PRO side but unfortunately this contention supports the CON case as well meaning that it shall also be included towards a victory for the CON
My reason again being that a team with private funding also would have this work out to be the same, So these subsidies are simply being put back having no effect. But since privately funded teams don't take the tax payer money in the first place from the community, all taxes generated will be consider a gain for a community.
So it is for that reason that the tax revenue generated from privately funded teams is more beneficial to a community providing a clear gain, rather than a subsidized team who is taking money and often times not giving it back showing no gain or a negative loss for a community. It is for that reason that this argument falls to the CON Side in this debate.

Affirmative Contention 3: Sport Stadiums Offer Uses

I anticipated that this argument would be made... I am not impressed by the unoriginal nature of the argument.

I guess this has become a trend in this debate, Another argument that will favor the CON side of the debate.

The PRO's point again is not unique to subsidized stadiums, because a private funded stadium offers the same shelter that a subsidized one will. Meaning that there is no reason to publicly fund a stadium that offers no Unique benefits that a privately funded stadium wouldn't. And as I have stated time and time again these companies can fund them selves by why when you can get the government to do it for you.

The PRO side has proven that these publicly funded stadium subsidies offer absolutely no different options that a privately funded stadium wouldn't offer.

Affirmative Contention 4: Privately funded stadiums, considered an alternative to public stadiums, cannot be built in optimal locations.

This argument is somewhat desperate.
In their first point in this contention the PRO side is taking the stance that government can take away your business, going directly against the very constitution they set in place. *5th Amendment*.
Their second point is that it is unique to private funded stadiums that they cant build on occupied spaces... DUH... nor can subsidized stadiums. So this is not a logical argument and shall not be heavily weighed in the out come of the debate.
And their third point in this contention is benefits based on location. They pretty much are restating the resolution. And as I have stated repeatedly it doesn't matter if or where the stadium is they will generate the same amount of money but the money generated from publicly subsidized stadium will go right back to the government as opposed to the private stadiums revenue which goes straight to the community.


The Con has clearly won this debate for the simple reason that PRO failed to state any benefits that are unique to publicly subsidized stadiums. In fact I am able to take the PRO's contentions 1,2, and 3 and turn them to support my case the CON case in a more superior manor then they do the pros case itself. So I do thank the pro side for finding three Contentions that support my case.
It is for the reasons stated above that the con has won the debate and I see no other ballot (or vote) that that on the Cons side.


Thanks to Con for the quick response!

I'll start by attacking my opponent's points.

In Con's first contention, my opponent argues that public subsidies for stadiums create a significant amount of debt, but my opponent fails to take into account the economic growth that comes with stadiums. In Con's second contention my opponent argues that stadiums don't, in fact, bolster local economies, but this is simply wrong. As I mentioned in the first round, the construction of AT&T Stadium in Dallas has created more than 4,000 jobs. The average NFL stadium employs 3,739 people, and is a major component of the economy. My opponent has also failed to realize that, as I stated in Contention 2, professional athletes pay a huge amount of money in taxes. As a result, the negative side effects such as cuts in law enforcement that my opponent brought up in Contentions 1 and 2 do not occur.

Moving on to Contention 3. Con has tried to argue here that public subsidies are not needed for sports stadiums, but as I mention in Contention 4, this is not the case. The Loons baseball park can barely be considered a stadium. As my opponent mentioned, the construction cost was just $34 million, which is on the very low end of stadium costs. What I'm getting at is that although a non-profit was able to fund the Loons park, my opponent cannot show that this would work for larger stadiums with a larger footprint and budget. Chances are that land would not have been donated for Loons Park if it were the size of AT&T Stadium.

Now I'll go on to defend my own contentions. The underlying theme in Con's last speech was his arguing that most of my contentions would also occur with privately funded stadiums. However, in my fourth contention, I clearly expressed why this was not the case. I'm not sure that my opponent fully grasps the concept of eminent domain, so I will explain it below.

Eminent Domain: the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.

The government CAN take away private property in order to build publicly funded stadiums. The same cannot be done for privately funded stadiums. The Georgia Institute of Technology has quite clearly determined that stadiums have a much larger economic benefit when built in the Central Business District of a city. However, when you look at the CBD of almost any major American city, you'll see that there is not the land to build a stadium. This means that if a stadium is privately funded, it must be located in a suburban area where the economic benefit is not as significant. Publicly funded stadiums, on the other hand, could be built on occupied land. This essentially knocks down my opponent's responses to my first and second contention.

In response to my third contention, Con tried to assert that privately funded stadiums had the same benefits as publicly funded stadiums when it comes to alternate uses. This is true in situations except emergencies. Privately funded stadiums are under no obligation to act as emergency shelters during natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, while publicly funded stadiums are. Therefore, my third contention still stands.

Finally, I'd like to mention the wording of this resolution. The resolution states that public subsidies for athletic organizations in the United States benefit their local communities. The resolution does NOT ask if privately funded stadiums would have the same or a greater effect. My opponent has made his case for privately funded stadiums in this round by saying that they have the same effects as publicly funded stadiums, but this is conceding that public stadiums benefit their communities to an extent. In theory, I could agree with Con that all of my points are true with privately funded stadiums, but Pro would still win the debate, because Con has failed to show that publicly funded stadiums detriment their local communities. Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 2


So my road map goes as followed:
1) I will review the attacks on my case
2) Second I will review why my opponent has failed to successfully defend their case

1) The PRO side attacked my contention one which is the fact that These subsidies create a lot of debt. Well my opponent seems to be absolutely fixated on the fact that the Dallas cowboys created 4000 jobs and that is why these subsidies are so fantastic, but lets keep in mind that only 72 of which are full time and have an average annual salary of $354,000 dollars. While the rest of the 3,928 are part time and only work about 26 days out of the year with an average salary of $400 while working for this organization.
IN this contention I go onto use the very same organization "Dallas Cowboys" and state how the total debt that the new Cowboy's stadium caused is $321.5 million, and every single penny of that is the communities and in that same Contention I stated that according to Bloomberg this debt will only grow because stadiums require an average of another $146 million dollars annually in order to maintain these stadiums again coming from these tax payers.
So it is for these reasons that in this aspect the CON has swept the debate because I have showed how only false positives are created with these Subsidized stadiums. Not to mention the debt that these subsidies create for an already weak economy.

2) moving on tho the attacks the pro made on CON's contention 2... which is: They don't bolster economies

The PRO never directly attacks besides one indirect time saying "that these job loses that the CON brings up in his Contention 1 and 2 don't happen because sports players and teams pay extra taxes." Well this argument is pathetic because how can we really believe for example again i will use the "Dallas Cowboys", to fully payback a subsidy in which is three times their total payroll because they pay higher taxes. The answer, they wont because I guarantee you they are not charging their players 300% in taxes. So it is the real truth that these subsidies will not be paid back. And just to show the judge I would like to reiterate that these subsidies are directly correlated to job loss in the community by providing the following statistics that were mentioned in my Contention 2 that the pro never looked at. "An article on stated, "A $19 billion subsidy is planned to be cutting as many as 700 librarians and 300 police officers." An article on the Illinois News Bureau said that a study done by sports economist Brad Humphreys and his colleague Dennis Coates revealed the statistical negative impacts on the local economy. Some of these are an average net loss of 1,924 jobs and a reduction in wages at restaurants and bars."
It is for the reason that CON wins this portion of the debate because it was not directly attacked (KEEP IN MIND PRO IF YOU DO ATTACK MY C2 IN THE THIRD AND FINAL ROUND YOUR POINT WILL NOT COUNT BECAUSE I CANNOT REBUT IT) And I brought up why the pro sides indirect attack was illogical therefore we cannot heavily weigh it in the outcome of the debate.

3) moving on to my contention 3 which is: Sports dont need subsidies.
My opponent is critical of my evidence saying one of the teams I used "the Great lake Loons" was too small of an example because the cost for the team wasn't large enough. But it is simple logic that bigger teams have more money and are able to pay for themselves especially if the small teams can. And If a team cant pay for it's self why are we wasting millions and millions of dollars to foot the bill when we will not see any benefits.

It is for that reason that my contention as well still flows throughout the round.

Given that my opponent failed to sufficiently attack all three of my contentions and in this aspect I have one this debate.

Moving on to my opponents rebuttals
The PRO that my entire case is not topical because I designed it for privately funded stadiums. But it seems they does not understand the arguments purpose which is: to show The Fact That all of These stadium will produce the same results and that privately funded stadiums will produce even better results because they won't have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars back before earning profit.
The PRO even concedes that all of his points are found and excel in privately funded stadiums. So why would we spend hundreds of millions of dollars in tax payer to receive benefits, when we can just let a company build a stadium themselves and receive the same benefits with out debt. (The Pro seems to agree with the point i'm making)

Given that my Opponent concedes that his whole case will be better supported with privately stadiums litterally his WHOLE case turns into an advocate in the CON favor. Given this His contentions 1,2,3, and 4 (ALL of THEM) fall for his argumentative purpose and stand tall for mine.

I will now move on to his point that: THE GOVERNMENT CAN TAKE LAND.

Well we must look at the fact that they have to get permission from the owners of the land prior to taking it. And this is a liberty that private stadiums also have


And to respond to my opponent saying I didn't support why these subsidies are bad for a community. I would like to say You should read my case again because there are plenty of reasons provide throughout the case.


So to conclude my speech I would like to point out that I have pointed out that the only result of subsidies, are negative ones that result in Job loss, And large amounts of debt. All of which can be avoided when teams pay for their own stadiums.
It is for the reasons that the PRO FAILED to attack my case in a sufficient manor and the fact that the PRO also CONCEDED their ENTIRE case to my point that if Privately funded stadiums can do it we should not subsidize.
And last but not least My contentions 1,2, and 3 still stand and my opponents Contentions 1,2, and 3 fall to the CONs side of this debate that the only reasonable vote is in the negation


In this round I'll be concluding my case.

My opponent has failed entirely to defend his first or second contention. Con was unable to show that publicly funded stadiums do not benefit their local communities, which is required to win this debate. Pro relied on statistics that showed that a subsidy could cut jobs, but I showed that the economy recovers regardless because of the creation of new jobs and the income taxes from athletes. In Con's last contention he threw out the random number that only 72 of the 4000 jobs at the Cowboys stadium are full time. This is completely, utterly wrong. You'll notice there was no statistic or citation for that ridiculous number. Pro's first and second contentions no longer stand.

In response to my opponent's third contention, I suggested that the Great Lakes Loons example was too small to translate to larger stadiums. Pro was unable to defend his contention, and simply stated this round that it would work, with no evidence to support that. Pro's third contention is also knocked down.

Con has failed to knock down any of my contentions. This may be due to his fundamental lack of understanding of the eminent domain law. Despite my explanation in the second round, Con still fails to grasp this concept. I'll, once again, try to explain eminent domain. The government can take land without permission. The government does NOT need permission from the property owners to take land for public stadiums. The government must pay the former owners a "fair value," but that is not negotiable, and the owners cannot decline. Unfortunately, because my opponent did not understand this concept, he failed to effectively attack any of my points that private stadiums did not benefit their communities. To learn more about eminent domain, visit this link: My fourth contention, and as a result, all my other contentions, still stand.

Finally, Con failed to prove what the resolution clearly states he must do to win. Con failed to show that publicly funded stadiums do not benefit their local communities. Con did not show any negative effects from public subsidies for stadiums. As I said in the last round, the wording of the resolution is clear. I could, theoretically, agree with Pro that my first, second, and third contentions held true for private stadiums, but private stadiums are irrelevant to this debate. Con must definitively prove that public stadiums do not benefit their local communities, which he failed to do. For these reasons, I strongly urge a Pro ballot.

Thanks to my opponent, thanks to the voters.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Figueroa15 1 year ago
Ya at both of the tournaments where I am from the social cohesion arguments wasn't weighed heavily.
Posted by ldow2000 1 year ago
Thanks for commenting, kingd. I completely forgot about social cohesion and bonding. Personally, though, I don't think the civic pride argument is that strong. At the two tournaments I was at it just never seemed to weigh much. Thanks again!
Posted by Figueroa15 1 year ago
Y don't you vote
Posted by kingkd 1 year ago
This topic was OK for the PF. However, it is weighted towards the Con. Pro could've attacked economic growth with gentrification or crowdouting. Pro should've used the civic pride and social cohesion arguements. But Con has the easier and stronger side with the facts that subsidies create huge debts. Detroit paid hundreds of millions for stadiums when they can't even afford streelights. So Con has oppurtunity cost.
Posted by Elord 1 year ago
Very well. Carry on.
Posted by Figueroa15 1 year ago
indeed i did
Posted by Elord 1 year ago
Did you just steal the October PF topic?
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