This article evaluates central Dallas tax increment financing (TIF) districts to compare development outcomes in an area with a major professional sports arena to others without a similar anchor. Using a comparative case study approach to assess quantitative and urbanism performance, the project is primarily concerned with whether the arena makes a substantial difference in property assessment values and urbanist revitalization. This study finds that the most successful TIF subsidized redevelopment in the Dallas core has been seen where private parties with a winning vision have assembled sufficient land to attain a critical mass from which further construction can gain momentum. In the absence of this combination or initial developer interest, outcomes have been disappointing despite similar City efforts and core proximity. While the arena-anchored district has been eventually successful in generating construction value, gains have come at a far higher relative public cost than other effective districts.