Using data from 56 professional sports facilities opened between 1995 and 2008, we find what at first appears to be a substantial effect of new sports facilities on housing markets. The opening of a new facility is associated with an increase in residential mortgage applications in nearby areas of about 20 percent. However, much of the differential is due to facility location. The new facilities locate in areas which grew faster even if they were not near a new facility. Based on regressions using census-tract level data, we find that conditioning on local income and poverty rates reduces the effect by more than a half, suggesting that characteristics of locations drive much the increase on mortgage applications associated with new sports facilities.