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Toyota Center

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Toyota Center
Toycentlogo.png
Toyota Center entr.jpg
Exterior view of the Toyota Center
Address 1510 Polk Street
Location Houston, Texas
Coordinates 29°45′3″N 95°21′44″W / 29.75083°N 95.36222°W / 29.75083; -95.36222Coordinates: 29°45′3″N 95°21′44″W / 29.75083°N 95.36222°W / 29.75083; -95.36222
Public transit HoustonMetroLogoOnly.svg Bell HoustonMetroRedLine.svg
Owner Tilman Fertitta
Operator Clutch City Sports and Entertainment
Capacity Basketball: 18,500
Concerts: 19,000
Construction
Broke ground July 31, 2001
Opened October 6, 2003
Construction cost US$235 million
($313 million in 2017 dollars[1])
Architect Populous (then HOK Sport)[2]
Morris Architects
John Chase Architects
Structural engineer Walter P Moore[3]
Services engineer Bovay Engineers, Inc.[4]
General contractor Hunt Construction Group[5]
Tenants
Houston Rockets (NBA) (2003–present)
Houston Aeros (AHL) (2003–2013)
Houston Comets (WNBA) (2004–2007)
Website
http://www.houstontoyotacenter.com

Toyota Center is an indoor arena located in downtown Houston, Texas. It is named after the Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota. The arena is home to the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association, and the former home of the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander first began to request a new arena in 1995, and attempted to release the Rockets from their lease at The Summit, which ran until 2003. However, he was denied by arena owner Chuck Watson, then-owner of the Aeros, who also wanted control of a new arena. The two sides agreed to equal control over an arena in a deal signed in 1997, but the proposal was rejected by city voters in a 1999 referendum. It was not until the city and the Rockets signed an amended agreement in 2001, excluding the Aeros, that the proposal was accepted.

Construction began in July 2001, and the new arena was officially opened in October 2003. The total costs were $235 million, with the city of Houston paying the majority, and the Rockets paying for enhancements. Toyota paid US$100 million for the naming rights.

History[edit]

The interior of the arena during a Rockets game, prior to 2012.
Inside the Toyota Center, with the new scoreboard, 2013.

In May 1995, several Texas sports teams, including the Houston Rockets, proposed legislation that would dedicate state tax revenue to build new arenas.[6] Although the bill was failed in the Texas House of Representatives,[7][8] Rockets owner Leslie Alexander announced he would continue to study the possibility of constructing a new arena in downtown Houston,[9] saying the 20-year-old Summit arena was too outdated to be profitable.[10] Although the Summit's management said they could renovate the building for a small part of the cost of a new arena,[11] the Rockets began talks with the city of Houston on a possible location for an arena,[12] They also negotiated with Houston Aeros and Summit owner, Chuck Watson, to release them from their contract with the Summit, which ran until 2003.[13]

As the negotiations continued into 1996, a panel appointed by Houston mayor Bob Lanier reported that building a new arena was "essential to keep pro sports in Houston".[14] After Watson rejected a contract buyout proposal of $30 million,[15] the Rockets filed a legal challenge against their lease,[16] stating the "need to be able to buy out" of the lease.[17] However, the city of Houston filed a counterclaim to force the Rockets to stay at the Summit, saying that if the Rockets did not honor their contract, then they might "have no incentive to honor any new agreement with the city of Houston to play in a new downtown sports arena".[18] The validity of the lease was eventually upheld,[19] and in April 1997, Lanier announced that the Rockets and Watson would have to agree to share control of the new arena equally, or lose access to it altogether.[20] After both parties agreed to the terms,[21] a bill that authorized increased taxes to pay for a new arena was signed into law in July, by then-Governor George W. Bush.[22]

However, after the National Hockey League decided not to consider Houston as a location for an expansion team because of the indecision over the new arena, Lanier said that he would not have a referendum in November.[23] The Rockets began an appeal in January 1998 against the court order to stay at the Summit,[24] but then dropped it in May, because they felt that a new arena would be ready by the time they finished their lease.[25] In January 1999, recently elected mayor Lee Brown guaranteed a referendum on the issue before the end of the year.[26] After several months negotiating with the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, the Rockets finalized a deal to pay half of the constructions costs, and a referendum was set for November 2.[27] The deal was approved by Brown and the Houston City Council,[28] but Watson started an opposition group against the referendum,[29] saying the arena was "not in Houston's interest".[30] On November 3, the results of the referendum were announced, and the arena proposal was rejected by 54% of voters.[31] Alexander said "we never thought we would lose" and that they were "devastated by the loss".[31]

After the vote, NBA commissioner David Stern said "if there's not a new building...I think it's certain that the team will be relocated."[32] The Houston Sports Authority had not planned to meet with the Rockets until after the 1999–2000 NBA season ended, but after the Rockets began to talk to other cities about relocation, they resumed talks in February 2000.[33] Although the Rockets continued to negotiate with Louisville, Kentucky,[34] a funding plan for the arena in Houston was released in June.[35] A final agreement was proposed on July 6,[36] and both the Rockets and mayor Brown agreed to the terms.[37][38] After the city council approved the deal,[39] the proposal was placed on the November referendum ballot.[40] Leading up to the vote, the Rockets stressed that there would be "no new taxes of any kind",[41] although opponents said the new arena would raise energy consumption, and also contended that the public would pay for too much of the costs of the arena.[42] Contributions for the campaign for the arena included donations of US$400,000 from Reliant Energy, and a total of $590,000 in loans and contributions from Enron and Ken Lay,[43] who the Rockets said was a "tireless" force in the campaign.[44] On November 8, the arena was approved by 66% of voters.[45]

Construction[edit]

the back side of Toyota Center.
Toyota's logo is seen on the roof of the arena.
Toyota Center Tundra Parking Garage

According to the agreement signed, the city of Houston bought the land for the arena and an adjoining parking garage,[46] which was near the George R. Brown Convention Center,[47] and paid for it by selling bonds and borrowing $30 million.[48][49] Morris Architects, designed the 750,000-square-foot (70,000 m2) building, and Hunt Construction was contracted to build the arena.[50] A building formerly owned by Houston Lighting and Power Company was demolished to make way for the arena, and two streets were closed for the duration of the construction.[51] A groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 31, 2001,[52] and construction continued for 26 months.[51]

At the request of Alexander, the arena was built 32 feet (9.8 m) below street level, so fans would not have to walk up stairs to reach their seats.[50] To sink the arena, $12 million was spent to excavate 31,500 cubic yards of dirt over four months,[51] which was the largest excavation in Houston history.[53] Concrete was poured for the foundation throughout the summer of 2002, and structural work began in October. The roof was set on in December, as work continued inside, with a peak workforce of 650. In September 2003, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the official opening of the arena.[51] The total cost of construction was $235 million, with the city paying $182 million, and the Rockets adding $43 million for additions and enhancements.[54]

Arena interior[edit]

The arena can seat 18,500 for a basketball game, 17,800 for ice hockey games, and 19,300 for concerts.[48] The price for courtside seats to a Rockets game in the new arena were raised by as much as 50% compared to prices in the team's old home, while upper-deck seat prices were lowered.[55]

It has 103 luxury suites and 2,900 club seats (Sections 105-109, Rockets Club West; Sections 118-122, Rockets Club East). The Rockets East & West Clubs feature upscale concessions, extra wide seats, full private bar featuring premium wine and beverage selections and concierge service.[56] The adjacent 2,500-space Toyota Tundra garage is connected to the arena by a private skybridge that can be accessed by Suite, Court-side and Club Seat holders.[57]

Additionally, the floor level features three separate private club lounges for access from court-side seat holders and floor seat concert goers. Lexus Lounge and Golden Nugget Club are on the west side of the floor level and the Platinum Lounge is located on the east side of the floor level.[58] All feature upscale amenities including multiple flat screen televisions, private bar, restrooms, and plush seating. The Lexus Lounge has its own pool tables and all three court-side lounges feature numerous private court-side suites.[59]

Toyota Center also features the Sterling Vineyards Red & White Wine Bistro, located on the lower suites level on the south side of the arena.[60] The restaurant features a huge dining room, private bar, two twin 1,500 bottle wine towers and views of the arena floor.

Levy Restaurants manages concession services at the arena, and offers fast food on the main concourses, while also catering a VIP restaurant for Suite and Club Seat holders.[61] Alexander personally chose colors for the restaurant to help customers feel "warm and comfortable", and Rockets president George Postolos said that the Rockets looked "for a relationship with the people that attend events in our venue".[53] Originally, a 40 feet (12 m) by 32 feet (9.8 m) centerhung video system from Daktronics, which has four main replay screens and eight other full-color displays, hung from the ceiling of the arena, and had the highest-resolution display of any North American sports facility. In 2012, the Toyota Center installed a larger, 4 panel scoreboard, similar to the one installed at AT&T Stadium, measuring 58 feet (18 m) by 25 feet (7.6 m) on the sidelines, and 25 feet (7.6 m) by 25 feet (7.6 m) on the ends, making it the largest such video board in an indoor arena. This larger scoreboard was installed by Panasonic and made its debut during the Houston Rockets 2012-13 season opener. The arena has two additional displays located at each end of the court, and a "state-of-the-art" audio system.[53][62][63]

Another amenity new to the Toyota Center in the 2012–2013 season is Wi-Fi. Designed by SignalShare and implemented by OfficeConnect.net, the Wi-Fi network is deployed throughout the arena and allows high-speed internet access during events. Its implementation was timed to be ready for the NBA All Stars Game.[64][65]

Sponsorship[edit]

In July 2003, the arena was named the Toyota Center. The logo of the company was placed on the roof of the building, as well in other prominent places inside the arena, and the company was given "a dominant presence" in commercials shown during broadcasts of games played in the arena.[66] Toyota USA has satellite offices in Houston.

Seating Capacity[edit]

The seating capacity for basketball games has been as follows:[67]

Years Capacity
2003–2007
17,982
2007–2012
18,430
2012–2014
18,230
2014–present
18,500

Events[edit]

The arena's first event was a Fleetwood Mac concert on October 6, 2003, and the first Rockets game at the Toyota Center was against the Denver Nuggets on October 30.[68]

Concerts[edit]

Many concerts have also taken place in the Toyota Center, like Prince, Tool, Duran Duran on their Astronaut tour, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Tina Turner, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, Christina Aguilera, P!nk, Andrea Bocelli, Muse, High School Musical The Concert, Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Coldplay, RBD, Laura Pausini, Alanis Morissette, Matchbox Twenty, Fiona Apple, Nickelback, Depeche Mode, Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Katy Perry, Drake, Cher, Britney Spears, Kanye West and Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones, One Direction, Ariana Grande, Carrie Underwood, Rammstein, Adele, Lana Del Rey, and G-Dragon, Panic! At The Disco,and many more.

On July 23, 2016, Hillsong UNITED performed in the arena to record their live album recording of Empires.

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
October 6, 2003 Fleetwood Mac Say You Will Tour 11,790 / 14,158 $891,183 The arena's first event
August 6, 2004 Prince Musicology Live 2004ever 31,504 / 31,504 $1,816,214
August 7, 2004
August 8, 2004 Gloria Estefan Live & Re-Wrapped Tour
August 20, 2005 Destiny's Child Destiny Fulfilled... and Lovin' It
February 20, 2005 Duran Duran The Astronaut Tour
November 7, 2005 Depeche Mode The Bravery Touring the Angel
December 1, 2005 Rolling Stones Los Lonely Boys A Bigger Bang 15,251 / 15,251 $2,616,385
January 23, 2006 Aerosmith Lenny Kravitz Rockin' the Joint Tour
February 21, 2006 Bon Jovi Have a Nice Day Tour 12,723 / 12,723 $800,988
July 23, 2006 Marc Anthony
Laura Pausini
Marco Antonio Solís
Juntos en concierto 2006 [69][70]
August 25, 2006 Nickelback Hoobastank
Chevelle
All the Right Reasons Tour
September 19, 2006 Shakira Oral Fixation Tour
December 18, 2006 High School Musical Cast featuring Drew Seeley Jordan Pruitt High School Musical: The Concert 12,416 / 12,811 $638,822 This concert was recorded for a CD/DVD package of the same name. The live version of "Start of Something New" was recorded for the album Radio Disney Jams Vol. 9.
February 20, 2007 Christina Aguilera Pussycat Dolls
Danity Kane
Back to Basics Tour [71][72]
March 7, 2007 Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium World Tour
July 14, 2007 Beyoncé The Beyoncé Experience
October 4, 2007 RBD Tour Celestial
November 11, 2007 Miley Cyrus Jonas Brothers Best of Both Worlds Tour
October 21, 2008 Janet Jackson LL Cool J
DJ Playboy
Rock Witchu Tour 7,090 / 7,470 $548,039
October 27, 2008 Tina Turner Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour 11,950 / 11,950 $1,238,762
November 20, 2008 Metallica Down
The Sword
World Magnetic Tour 17,962 / 17,962 $1,168,463 Set attendance record for a concert held at the arena.[73]
March 30, 2009 Britney Spears The Circus Starring Britney Spears 16,604 / 16,604 $1,749,704
April 16, 2009 Nickelback Seether
Saving Abel
Dark Horse Tour
July 4, 2009 Beyoncé Pussycat Dolls
RichGirl
I Am... World Tour 13,130 / 13,130 $1,158,361
September 24, 2009 P!nk Funhouse Tour 8,563 / 8,563 $393,197
May 25, 2010 Taylor Swift Gloriana
Kellie Pickler
Fearless Tour 23,493 / 23,493 $1,290,926
May 26, 2010
July 25, 2010 Lady Gaga Semi Precious Weapons The Monster Ball Tour
July 26, 2010
October 8, 2010 Shakira The Sun Comes Out World Tour
October 19, 2010 Gorillaz N.E.R.D. Escape to Plastic Beach Tour
November 6, 2010 Justin Bieber My World Tour 13,352 / 13,352 $467,082
May 17, 2011 Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Live 15,787 / 15,787 $1,351,764
July 9, 2011 Rihanna J. Cole
K.T
Loud Tour
July 13, 2011 Britney Spears Femme Fatale Tour
July 29, 2011 Katy Perry Robyn
DJ Skeet Skeet
California Dreams Tour 12,235 / 12,235 $511,777
December 5, 2011 Kanye West
Jay-Z
Watch the Throne Tour
May 17, 2012 Drake J. Cole
Waka Flocka Flame
Meek Mill
2 Chainz
French Montana
Chief Keef
Lual Allstar
Club Paradise Tour Drake would bring out Rick Ross to perform "Ima Boss" and "Stay Schemin'" with Meek Mill.
May 25, 2012 Rammstein Joe Letz Made in Germany 1995–2011
June 2, 2012 Nickelback Seether
My Darkest Days
Bush
Here and Now Tour
July 30, 2012 Aerosmith Global Warming Tour
August 26, 2012 Jennifer Lopez
Enrique Iglesias
Frankie J Dance Again World Tour 10,510 / 10,510 $865,460
October 20, 2012 Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm with You World Tour
October 24, 2012 Madonna Martin Solveig The MDNA Tour 24,797 / 24,797 $4,390,355 This show was sold out in less than an hour.[74]
October 25, 2012
October 30, 2012 Justin Bieber Carly Rae Jepsen Believe Tour 13,084 / 13,084 $1,021,718
January 31, 2013 Lady Gaga Madeon
Lady Starlight
The Born This Way Ball Tour
February 21, 2013 P!nk The Hives The Truth About Love Tour 13,247 / 13,646 $1,067,357 [75]
March 12, 2013 Muse Dead Sara The 2nd Law World Tour 10,314 / 10,314 $632,620
May 16, 2013 Taylor Swift Ed Sheeran
Brett Eldredge
The Red Tour 12,467 / 12,467 $961,422
July 15, 2013 Beyoncé Luke James The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 11,935 / 11,935 $1,320,925 *"Bow Down" was performed for the first time. During the beginning of the performance, images of Beyonce's dancers as children with the words "Bow Down" flashed across the screen appeared as sound bites of gossip reports were heard in the background. Beyoncé addressed many rumors surrounding her throughout her career including faking her pregnancy with daughter Blue Ivy Carter, before appearing on stage and beginning the song along with a choreography.[76][77]
July 21, 2013 One Direction 5 Seconds of Summer Take Me Home Tour
August 15, 2013 Bruno Mars Ellie Goulding Moonshine Jungle Tour 13,425 / 13,425 $964,969
November 2, 2013 Selena Gomez Emblem3
Christina Grimmie
Stars Dance Tour
November 13, 2013 Drake Would You Like a Tour? Drake performed "November 18th".[78]
November 14, 2013 Rihanna ASAP Rocky Diamonds World Tour 12,610 / 12,610 $1,013,001 This concert was originally scheduled to take place on April 15, but was postponed due to sickness.[79]
February 19, 2014 Demi Lovato Fifth Harmony
Little Mix
The Neon Lights Tour
March 16, 2014 Miley Cyrus Icona Pop
Sky Ferreira
Bangerz Tour [80]
March 24, 2014 Cher Pat Benatar
Neil Giraldo
Dressed to Kill Tour 11,641 / 11,641 $1,271,089 [81]
March 25, 2014 Tool
July 16, 2014 Lady Gaga Lady Starlight
Crayon Pop
ArtRave: The Artpop Ball 11,410 / 11,410 $967,441 [82]
October 10, 2014 Katy Perry Becky G
Ferras
Prismatic World Tour 24,268 / 24,268 $2,692,788
October 11, 2014
September 18, 2015 Ariana Grande Prince Royce
Who Is Fancy
The Honeymoon Tour 9,939 / 10,124 $557,714 Grande performed a mash-up of One Last Time and Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean?".
December 1, 2015 Muse Phantogram Drones World Tour 7,482 / 11,224 $551,820
January 14, 2016 Tool Primus
3Teeth
2016 North America Tour
April 9, 2016 Justin Bieber Post Malone
Moxie Raia
Purpose World Tour 12,868 / 12,868 $1,407,652
April 25, 2016 Carrie Underwood Easton Corbin
The Swon Brothers
Storyteller Tour: Stories in the Round 9,684 / 10,624 $677,934 This concert was supposed to take place on April 19, but was rescheduled due to severe weather.[83]
May 15, 2016 Rihanna Travis Scott Anti World Tour 10,427 / 11,105 $1,136,742 This concert was originally scheduled to take place on March 5, but was postponed due to "production delays".[84]
June 15, 2016 Selena Gomez DNCE
Bea Miller
Revival Tour
September 3, 2016 Drake
Future
Roy Wood$
dvsn
Summer Sixteen Tour 24,507 / 24,507 $3,352,284 Drake performed "Draped Up" & "Get Throwed" with Bun B and also performed "A Milli" & "Steady Mobbin" with Lil Wayne at the 2nd show. He performed "November 18th" at both shows.
September 4, 2016
September 9, 2016 Demi Lovato
Nick Jonas
Mike Posner Future Now Tour Jonas performed "A Little Bit Longer" in place of "Chainsaw".
November 8, 2016 Adele Adele Live 2016 25,577 / 25,577 $3,032,246
November 9, 2016
January 7, 2017 Red Hot Chili Peppers Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
Jack Irons
The Getaway World Tour 12,615 / 12,615 $1,133,116
April 1, 2017 Panic! At The Disco Misterwives and Saint Motel Death of a Bachelor Tour 12,040 / 12,040 $629,559
April 8, 2017 Ariana Grande Victoria Monét
Little Mix
Dangerous Woman Tour 10,324 / 11,548 $901,670
July 19, 2017 G-Dragon Act III: M.O.T.T.E World Tour 5,708 / 7,796 $789,233
August 5, 2017 Queen + Adam Lambert Queen + Adam Lambert Tour 2017–2018 9,260 / 9,260 $1,034,567 [85]
September 9, 2017 Janet Jackson State of the World Tour 10,789 / 11,872 $879,536 Proceeds from the concert were donated to relief efforts supporting evacuees of Hurricane Harvey.[86][87][88]
October 24, 2017 Bruno Mars Jorja Smith 24K Magic World Tour 13,529 / 13,529 $1,805,759
November 10, 2017 Guns N' Roses Not in This Lifetime... Tour 10,523 / 10,523 $1,652,912 Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top was the special guest.[89][90]
January 7, 2018 Katy Perry Carly Rae Jepsen Witness: The Tour 9,655 / 10,432 $1,139,385
February 10, 2018 Lana Del Rey Kali Uchis LA to the Moon Tour 9,202 / 11,143 $868,366
March 23, 2018 Bon Jovi TBA This House Is Not for Sale Tour 13,629 / 14,372 $1,299,066
June 9, 2018 Shania Twain TBA Shania Now Tour TBA TBA
August 3, 2018 Panic! At The Disco A R I Z O N A
Hayley Kiyoko
Pray for the Wicked Tour
August 22, 2018 Shakira Salva El Dorado World Tour TBA TBA
November 6, 2018 Twenty One Pilots TBA Bandito Tour TBA TBA

Other sports[edit]

In 2007, 2011, 2013, and 2015, it played host to a UFC event.[91]

Event Date Attendance
UFC 69 Saturday, April 7, 2007 15,269
UFC 136 Saturday, October 8, 2011 16,164
UFC 166 Saturday, October 19, 2013 17,238
UFC 192 Saturday, October 3, 2015 14,622

On August 21, 2010, it played host to Strikeforce: Houston.[92]

On February 19, 2016, it played host to Bellator MMA event Bellator 149: Shamrock vs. Gracie III. The event featured a double main event featuring heavyweights Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000, and light heavyweights Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie. Bellator 149 had a live attendance record of 14,209 and a near $1.4M gate at the Toyota Center, thus making Bellator 149 the largest attended show in Bellator MMA history.

Other events[edit]

The arena hosted the 9th Annual Latin Grammy Awards on November 13, 2008.

Passion Conferences has been held in the Toyota Center since 2014. The conference draws around 20,000 people with multiple other gatherings held in Atlanta.

Attendance records[edit]

In its first year, the total attendance for events at the arena exceeded 1.5 million.[citation needed] The current attendance for a concert held at the arena was set on November 20, 2008, when Metallica played to a sold out crowd of 17,962 during the Death Magnetic tour. The record for a basketball game is 18,583, set on March 26, 2010, when the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Rockets 109–101.[93]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

The arena was the winner of the Allen Award for Civic Enhancement by Central Houston, the "Rookie of the Year" award by the Harlem Globetrotters, and a finalist for Pollstar Magazine's "Best New Concert Venue" award.[57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Compaq Center
Home of the
Houston Rockets

2003 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Compaq Center
Home of the
Houston Aeros

2003 – 2013
Succeeded by
Wells Fargo Arena
(as Iowa Wild)
Preceded by
Compaq Center
Home of the
Houston Comets

2003 – 2007
Succeeded by
Reliant Arena
Preceded by
Pepsi Center
Amway Center
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

2006
2013
Succeeded by
Thomas & Mack Center
New Orleans Arena