WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (January 30, 2024) – The National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) has selected Greater Des Moines as the host of its 2024 and 2025 National Speech & Debate Tournament. The annual events are expected to attract 10,000 visitors to the area each year. According to Catch Des Moines’ economic impact calculator, the National Tournament will have an annual direct economic impact of $22 million! This represents visitor spend at hotels, restaurants, shops, and local businesses, to name a few. In addition, this event will reach all parts of Greater Des Moines through the use of the Iowa Events Center, Des Moines Public Schools, Johnston Schools, West Des Moines Schools, and Waukee Schools. “We are so lucky to have the opportunity to host the National Speech & Debate Tournament for 2024 and 2025. It’s a true honor, and the impact that these students and their families will have on our community is worth millions!” said Catch Des Moines President and CEO Greg Edwards. The National Speech & Debate Tournament is the pinnacle of public speaking and considered the largest academic competition in the nation. “The NSDA is headquartered in Des Moines, and 2025 will mark our centennial year of providing competitive speech and debate opportunities for youth, so there is no better host than Iowa for our next two tournaments,” said J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the National Speech & Debate Association. Many NSDA members have risen to the pinnacle of their respective fields, including Supreme Court justices Ketanji Brown Jackson and Sonia Sotomayor, media visionaries Tom Llamas and Stephen Colbert, Academy Award winners Jordan Peele and Brad Pitt, Iowa native and co-founder of Pinterest Ben Silbermann, and more. The tournament is a moving reminder of how the skills students learn in speech and debate empower them to be changemakers, advocates, and future leaders of our world. “We believe that effective communication skills and knowledge of the issues impacting millions of people around the world are essential for empowering young people to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders,” said Wunn. “Experience the power of students using their words for change this June.” The 2024 National Tournament will be held June 16 – 21, and the 2025 National Tournament will be held June 15 – 20. For more information on the National Speech & Debate Tournament, visit speechanddebate.org/nationals. To learn more about joining the National Speech & Debate Association, visit speechanddebate.org.


About Catch Des Moines
The Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, collectively known as Catch Des Moines, is the official destination marketing organization promoting and representing Greater Des Moines to leisure travelers and meeting/sports planners. Our focus is to increase visitors to the metro and elevate the visitor experience to drive economic success and enhance the quality of life in the 14 local Greater Des Moines communities we represent. For more information, visit catchdesmoines.com. About the National Speech & Debate Association The National Speech & Debate Association is the authority on public speaking and debate in the United States. The Association builds the infrastructure for speech and debate competitions around the world by providing topics, educational resources, and training for students and coaches. For nearly 100 years, the National Speech & Debate Association has built a platform for youth voices that culminates in the National Tournament, the largest academic competition in the world. For more information, visit speechanddebate.org.