Debate stirs up revenue

The art of debate is a time-honored tradition, based in meticulous research and practice.

Those that participate in debate or speech teams benefit from higher self-confidence and a better rate of academic success.

On that note, we’re glad to see a lot of thinkers in Shelby County this week for the 2009 Stars Fell on Alabama National Speech and Debate Tournament.

It’s fantastic to see that students and educators close to home are getting exposure to activities like this, which only help encourage students to put down the cell phones and pick up books.

We’d be happy to see tournaments like this here just for their cultural significance, but the National Debate Tournament brings something else welcome: tourism dollars.

Tournament and school officials estimated the tournament will bring in more than 3,000 people and $4 million to the Hoover area. That’s a lot of hotel rooms, restaurant and shopping trips and stops for gas. The tournament is an economic boon, despite the fact most people probably don’t even know it’s happening.

We need to see more creative ideas like this one and to bring revenue to the area in a time when the usual measures, like tax dollars and building permits, aren’t up to their usual standard. Our residents should also take the chance to get out and see a different kind of bout — one that doesn’t take place on the field but can be just as competitive.