The Instigator
n.gaman
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Resolved: On balance, public subsidies for professional athletic organizations in the United States

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/15/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,450 times Debate No: 63280
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

n.gaman

Pro

OB.) Quite a few teams are not able to afford the construction of stadiums without subsidies and would have to move away from their current cities to a place where they would be paid more by the city.

C1.) Giving public subsidies to professional athletic organizations creates a positive economic ripple effect.
Sub Pt. A.) Public subsidies will create more jobs which will lead to increased incomes

Sarah Wilhelm, 1998, Ph.D.Economic Research and Consulting Public Funding of Sports Stadiums DOA 8/15/14, http://cppa.utah.edu... sports-stadiums.pdf
Job Creation and Increased Incomes. Jobs will be created in the construction of the stadium, in the operation of the stadium once completed, and in surrounding businesses. Local hotels and restaurants will see an increase in customers due to attendance at events at the stadium. Personal income of the community will increase because of the jobs created (including those of the athletes whose income is well above local averages).

Similarly

Adrienne Melville, August 18, 2011, Boston Globe, Sports is Helping to Spurt Growth in Boston, DOA 8/17/14/ http://www.forbes.com...

New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft has also found creative ways to boost revenues. In addition to the on-field success of the New England Patriots, Kraft wanted to make his investment more than just a place to watch sports. So, in 2006, Kraft opened Patriot Place"a one-stop, full service "mega-mall" built on the 500 acres surrounding Gillette Stadium. Patriot Place includes, among other things, a four-star Renaissance Hotel and Spa, sixteen restaurants, a 14-screen cinema complex, and a full-service hospital. Scattered throughout Patriot Place are countless boutiques and other shops, all of which leads to an estimated total value of over $200 million. In the four years that Patriot Place has been open, it has not only provided a fiscal benefit to the New England Patriots, but also has provided a net positive fiscal impact on the town of Foxborough, MA. Projected real and personal property taxes on Patriot Place are bringing an annual net fiscal benefit of 2 million dollars to Foxborough, and Kraft"s vision has inspired teams like Green Bay and Dallas to create similar venues in their regions.

Sub Pt. B.) Stadiums improve the quality of life in their local community by revitalizing previously poor areas.
Rizzo, James. "Stadium Development and Urban Renewal: A Look at Washington, DC." Massachusetts Institute of Technology, September 2008. http://dspace.mit.edu...

It is in the best interest of local governments to build stadiums in poorer areas, which has a plethora of positive impacts on the community. "There has been a recent trend towards utilizing stadium development as a catalyst for broader urban renewal in an urban submarket. Oftentimes cities will seek out rundown, downtrodden, long-stagnant areas for the stadium sites. Beyond their potential for reactivation, these areas largely represent the only location in a city with enough vacant or underused land to support the level of development required. The other enticing characteristic of these tracts of land is that they are relatively cheap when compared to the established, dense urban markets. The advantages of this strategy are that there are often fewer permanent residents and fewer employers in these dilapidated areas. Stadium development in these broken neighborhoods can help to reduce crime; re- energize the local economy; [and] create a more safe, livable environment; and provide connections between parts of the city that previously stood on their own. Locations that were once avoided can become a destination for entertainment, dining and other retail uses. The infusion of residential and office product can complete the transformation of these areas into a 24-hour environment."

C2.) Stadiums provide an emergency relief center

Duncan, Jeff. "Shelter from the Storm: Doug Thornton Reflects on the Superdome in
Katrina." The Times Picayune. NOLA Media Group, 29 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Aug.
2014. <http://www.nola.com...
_up_w_2.html>.

"On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and killed more than 2,000 people. More than 40,000 took shelter in the cavernous Superdome, and were saved. To the nation, the Dome (along with the Convention Center) became a symbol of despair and destruction. But for those who came to the Superdome, it was a refuge of last resort and, despite horrific conditions inside, sheltered them from the perilous storm."

Frank, Thomas. "Astrodome to become new home for storm refugees". USA Today, Sept 1 2005. Web. Aug 17 2014. <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...-
08-31-astrodome_x.htm>

"Relief workers in Houston rushed to assemble thousands of cots, arrange catering and round up medical specialists for 25,000 Hurricane Katrina victims who began arriving at the Astrodome from the Superdome this morning. City school officials plan to begin registering an estimated 5,000 refugee students on Tuesday. Administrators spent Wednesday scrambling to find open buildings and classrooms, ordering furniture and school supplies, and getting school curriculums from Louisiana to accommodate displaced students who could stay several months."
Danielle

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent and wish him good luck.

To start, Pro argues that giving public subsidies to professional athletic organizations creates a positive economic effect. He notes that stadium construction and operation creates jobs. Venues related to the sports team also attract tourism, and such productivity encourages the revitalization of poor neighborhoods. Finally, Pro points out that stadiums can serve as emergency relief shelters if necessary.

Contrary to Pro's claim, studies show that subsidies never pay off for tax payers. According to Harvard University professor of urban planning Judith Grant,“Most economic analyses demonstrate that sports facilities produce very few or no net new economic benefits relative to construction costs.” Economists John Siegfried and Andrew Zimbalist agree, “there is no statistically positive correlation between sports facility construction and economic development.”

Stadiums generate little to no new consumption within local economies. If someone in Boston wanted to see a baseball game but there was no local baseball stadium, they would spend their money on something else in Boston. Perhaps they would go to a basketball game, go to a bar, go to a restaurant, etc. In other words, consumers would still be spending their money in Boston - just not on the sports team/stadium in question. As such, the increase in consumerism is largely exaggerated.

Moreover, when money is made in a stadium, a lot of that money goes to players who do not live within the city the stadium is built in. The money does not stay within the local economy. Atlanta tax payers footed a $278 million dollar bond for the Falcons venue, but revenue will go to benefit primarily the owner of the Falcons franchise; not the tax payers or community.

There are innumerable examples proving the net loss to tax payers in stadium subsidies. The Wall Street Journal called a 1996 deal with Cincinnati “one of the worst professional sports deals ever struck by a local government.” The city was promised $300 million in economic benefits, plus the opportunity to keep their team in exchange for financing the Bengal's’ home field. Instead, the final cost was nearly double the original estimate. The county sales tax was raised, and promises of a rollback on property taxes were broken. The county has found itself saddled with debt and no evidence of expected economic benefits. Similar scenarios happened for the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals among others.

http://america.aljazeera.com...

Sports economics expert Andrew Zimbalist has conducted extensive research on the alleged economic benefits of subsidizing stadiums. His conclusion: "A new sports facility has an extremely small (perhaps even negative) effect on overall economic activity and employment... Regardless of whether the unit of analysis is a local neighborhood, a city, or an entire metropolitan area, the economic benefits of sports facilities are de minimus."

A plethora of other studies reach the same conclusion. One of them studied 32 metropolitan areas over the course of 30 years. Only 2 cities were impacted by the arrival of a sports team - and one of them was impacted negatively.

http://www.mlive.com...

http://www.csus.edu...

Pro never provided PROOF of economic benefits - just misguided, faulty projections of benefits that are always promised, but never seem to materialize in practice. Indeed there is no evidence that a community benefits from *investing* in a sports team. That isn't to say that a community doesn't benefit from the existence of a sports franchise, but it's to say that investing hundreds of millions - billions of dollars never pays off for the tax payers.

When a franchise relocates to a city, areas outside of the metropolis also benefit. For example most fans of the Washington Red Skins (a team from Washington DC) reside in Virginia. Having Washington DC alone invest in the stadium is not entirely fair; they take on the full cost of the subsidy while people on the outskirts do not have to help foot the bill.

While not great for tax payers, private enterprises are known to profit greatly from investing in stadium construction. NASCAR tracks are owned and operated by private businesses, and are profitable enough that some owners own multiple tracks. More popular sports would be able to follow this model.

http://www.ibj.com...

Indeed two sports teams in Michigan were able to build and run stadiums entirely with private funds. Owners reported increased satisfaction given their ultimate control. It is both entirely possible and profitable to invest in sports teams all over the country, particularly in hot markets where teams are in demand. Why should tax payers have to use government funds to build a stadium they will never see direct profits from?

http://www.mlive.com...

Pro argues that construction of sports stadiums revitalizes poor neighborhoods, but in truth subsidizing stadium costs takes away from investment in the cities themselves. Detroit is a perfect example of this utterly backwards failure to appropriately invest funds. Since the early 2000s, the city has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars towards various sports stadiums. It hosted the Superbowl in 2006 along with a handful of other major sporting events. Still, the city declared bankruptcy and none of the promised revenue came to fruition. Instead, Detroit got worse.

http://thebiglead.com...

Instead of using tax money to revitalize particular industries (agriculture, manufacturing, automobiles, etc.) as Democrats would do; giving tax breaks to business owners like Republicans would do; or not spending tax payer's money at all like Libertarians would do; Detroit decided to bank on stadiums and the result is having the worst economy in the United States. This is a real-world example confirming study after study proving tax payer investment is harmful.

Many cities are coupling pension cuts with investments in sports stadiums. Public employees including police officers, teachers and others are being let go from their jobs which not only hurts their families but the community. Meanwhile sports stadiums are being built which mostly employ low-wage workers, and team owners reap all revenue despite public investment. Why do politicians (and Pro) keep promoting this harmful economic policy contrary to all data analysis?

Researchers from the University of Maryland and University of Alberta found in 2008 that "sports subsidies cannot be justified on the grounds of local economic development." A 2012 Bloomberg News analysis found that taxpayers have lost $4 billion on such subsidies since the mid-1980s.

http://www.ibtimes.com...

With regard to potential emergency shelter, it is not worth the investment on a cost-benefit analysis if you factor into the statistical likelihood of actually needing such a shelter. Still, in that case you can use a number of other facilities including but not limited to collegiate athletic centers and other popular arenas, such as where concerts are held or in public spaces.

In addition to the negative utility value of the investment, tax payers are also not responsible for ensuring the profit of rich team owners. Tax dollars are supposed to be used for necessities: defense, education, health care, etc. Subsidizing other things like infrastructure or job training would yield better financial results for the city. They are morally worthwhile investments in addition to practical.
Debate Round No. 1
n.gaman

Pro

n.gaman forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
n.gaman

Pro

n.gaman forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Unfortunately my oppoent has chosen to ignore my arguments and not post a rebuttal. As per the standard rules of the debate, his concession should count as an automatic loss of both arguments and conduct. Please extend all of my arguments. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 2 years ago
Ore_Ele
n.gamanDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: This was thoroughly disappointing. I was reading and looking forward to his Pro would respond to the notes that economic spending is over exaggerated because the money will still be spent, just elsewhere in the community. Then, the dreaded red "forfeit" sign.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
n.gamanDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff