September/October Topic: Broaden your Arguments


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

With this topic, it is easy to start getting stuck on a very narrow topic area – professional sports stadiums. Even narrower, NFL or MLB stadiums. This is where most of the research and writing on this topic occurs.

That doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to these arguments.

One of the most important stages of research (especially on the two month topic) is finding better and more nuanced arguments as time passes. Here are some suggestions for broadening your research and argumentative horizons this month.

NFL tax exemption

Did you know that the NFL gets a tax exemption much like non-profit organizations? I think you can easily argue this is a type of public subsidy.


Why limit yourself to the NFL, MLB, or NBA? Many sports are subsidized – even NASCAR. You may be able to find stronger arguments/clearer impacts for other professional athletic organizations besides the most common ones.

Violence impacts

Besides topic areas, you can also broaden the range of your impacts. You’ll find a lot of evidence on impacts that are closely linked to PAO’s. but there are also secondary impacts to consider. One such impact is violence. You can talk about stadium violence, violence in the surrounding community, and domestic violence on this topic. Take the time to ask yourself “What else happens when PAO’s enter a community?”


Remember, broadening your arguments isn’t just about finding more research. It’s about considering other claims and impacts you may not have noticed in your first round of research and case writing.



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