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Concert Venues :: The Summit


Now Known As Lakewood Church Central Campus
Date Opened Nov. 25, 1975
Venue Capacity 16,000
Venue URL
Venue Address 3700 Southwest Freeway
Houston, Texas 77027

Venue Information

In 1971, the National Basketball Association's San Diego Rockets were purchased by a new ownership group that moved the franchise to Houston. The city, however, lacked an indoor arena suitable to host a major sports franchise, so plans were immediately undertaken to construct the new venue that would become The Summit. The Rockets played their home games in various local facilities such as Hofheinz Pavilion during the interim.

Completed in 1975, The Summit represented a lavish new breed of sports arena, replete with amenities, that would help the NBA grow from a second-tier professional sport into the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry that it is today. The Omni in Atlanta (now the site of Philips Arena), McNichols Sports Arena in Denver (now a parking lot for Invesco Field), and the Coliseum at Richfield in Richfield, Ohio (now reclaimed forest) were all constructed during this period and remained in service until the growth of the NBA sparked a new arena construction boom in the late 1990s.

In 1998, Compaq Center became the first Houston sports arena to sell its naming rights. The Arena Operating Company entered into a five-year, $900,000 deal with then Houston-based Compaq Computer Corporation to change the name of the venue from "The Summit" to Compaq Center. The length of the agreement was significant, because in 2003 the lease that Arena Operating Company held on Compaq Center would expire, and the tenants of the building were lobbying vigorously for the construction of a new downtown venue to replace the aging and undersized arena.

When the sports teams moved to the new Toyota Center in 2003, the City of Houston leased the arena to Lakewood Church, a megachurch, which invested $75 million in renovations to convert the arena into the current configuration of seats and rooms for its needs. Lakewood Church has an exclusive lease agreement with the City of Houston and is the only tenant allowed to use the venue.

Venue Photos

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