September/October Topic: Turns

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

A lot of PRO teams are going to argue for the economic benefits of sports teams in their local communities. While much research has found this claim to not hold water, there are a few examples of economic benefit the PRO can be persuasive with. So rather than face down PRO’s examples with CON’s examples and get into an evidence war,

how about a turn?

Often the positive economic benefits that professional athletic organizations bring (along with other cultural improvements like museums, parks, arts districts, etc) is called revitalization. This implies new growth and transformation in the local community. However, “revitalization” can be a euphemism for gentrification.

Gentrification is a general term for the arrival of wealthier people in an existing urban district, a related increase in rents and property values, and changes in the district’s character and culture. The term is often used negatively, suggesting the displacement of poor communities by rich outsiders. But the effects of gentrification are complex and contradictory, and its real impact varies.” – Benjamin Grant, PBS, What is Gentrification?

Gentrification is a great argument for the CON because it makes the PRO argument CON’s offensive material. Not only does it disprove the PRO argument about economic benefit, but it shows harm to the local community. A great turn like this takes your opponents’ argument and makes it one for you.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out the following perspectives on gentrification/revitalization for yourself and decide if you want to turn this topic your way.

In Atlanta, Two Stadiums Collide With Dreams of a New Downtown from The Atlantic

Sports Facilities as Urban Redevelopment Catalysts from the Journal of American Planning Association

 

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