Lakewood Church Central Campus

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Lakewood Church Central Campus
Lakewood church.JPG
Former names The Summit (1975–1998)
Compaq Center (1998–2002)
Location 3700 Southwest Freeway
Houston, Texas 77027
Coordinates 29°43′49″N 95°26′6″W / 29.73028°N 95.43500°W / 29.73028; -95.43500Coordinates: 29°43′49″N 95°26′6″W / 29.73028°N 95.43500°W / 29.73028; -95.43500
Owner Lakewood Church
Operator Lakewood Church

Basketball: 15,676 (1975-1983), 16,016 (1983-1986), 16,279 (1986-1987), 16,611 (1987-1995), 16,285 (1995-2002)
Ice hockey: 14,906 (1975-1983), 15,256 (1983-1994), 15,242 (1994-2002)
Indoor Soccer : 14,848

Current configuration for worship services: 16,000
Surface Wood
Broke ground December 1973
Opened November 7, 1975
Reopened July 16, 2005
Construction cost $27 million
($118 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Lloyd Jones Brewer & Associates
Structural engineer Walter P Moore[2]
Houston Aeros (WHA) (1975–1979)
Houston Summit (MISL) (1978–1980)
Houston Rockets (NBA) (1975–2002)
Houston Aeros (IHL/AHL) (1994–2002)
Houston Hotshots (CISL) (1994–1997)
Houston Comets (WNBA) (1997–2002)
Houston Thunderbears/Texas Terror (AFL) (1996–2001)
Lakewood Church (2005–present)
The Summit stands among the high-rise office buildings of Greenway Plaza, c. 1994
The interior of Lakewood Church Central Campus currently. It was once The Summit, and later Compaq Center, before becoming a house of worship.

The Lakewood Church Central Campus (originally The Summit and formerly Compaq Center) is a house of worship in Houston, Texas, United States. It is located about five miles southwest of Downtown Houston, next to the Greenway Plaza.

From 1975-2002 the building served as a multi-purpose sports arena, for various professional teams in Houston.

From its opening until 1998, the building was known as The Summit. Computer technology firm Compaq bought naming rights to the building after that and it was known as Compaq Center until 2003. At that point the name was dropped, coinciding with opening of the Toyota Center as a new professional sports venue in Houston.[3] Shortly after, the building was leased out to Lakewood Church for use as its main facility. Lakewood Church purchased the building outright in 2010.

Construction of The Summit[edit]

In 1971, the National Basketball Association's San Diego Rockets were purchased by new ownership group Texas Sports Investments, who moved the franchise to Houston. The city, however, lacked an indoor arena suitable to host a major sports franchise. The largest arena in the city at the time was 34-year-old Sam Houston Coliseum, but the Rockets would not even consider using it as a temporary facility. 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 and the Astrodome during the interim.[4]

Completed in 1975 at a cost of $18 million,[5] 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 Sports Authority Field), and the Coliseum at Richfield in Cleveland (now an open meadow in the process of being reclaimed by forest) were all constructed during this period and remained in service until the continued growth of the NBA sparked a new arena construction boom in the late 1990s.

On each end of the arena was a Fair-Play scoreboard with a small two-line monochrome message center. Both scoreboards would be upgraded in 1986 with the addition of three front-projection videoboards on top of each scoreboard. The center videoboard showed live game footage, fan shots, and replays while the left and right videoboards showed slides displaying advertisements for the Rockets' (and Aeros') sponsors.

Notable events[edit]


It housed the Rockets, Aeros, Comets and several arena football sports teams[6] until they vacated the arena in favor of the new Toyota Center in downtown Houston. Additionally, the arena was a prime Houston venue for popular music concerts and special events such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the Harlem Globetrotters, Sesame Street Live and Disney on Ice.[7]

It hosted the NBA Finals on four different occasions: 1981, 1986, 1994 and 1995. In 1994 and 1995, the then-Summit was the site of the deciding games in the championship series and of the ensuing celebrations. The Summit was also host to championship teams from 1997-2000 when the Houston Comets won the WNBA title for four consecutive years.

It held the World Wrestling Federation's Royal Rumble on January 15, 1989.[8] This was the first time the Royal Rumble was televised on pay-per-view (PPV). The Rumble was won by Big John Studd. It also served as the location for the No Way Out of Texas PPV in 1998 as well as Bad Blood (the first brand-exclusive PPV) on June 15, 2003. It also showed a special 9/11 live edition of SmackDown! on September 13, 2001.


Prior to the construction of Toyota Center, the Summit was the principal Houston venue for large pop and rock music concerts.

The first major rock concert at The Summit was when The Who began the US leg of their North American tour on November 20, 1975.[5] The concert was recorded, later released in 2012, as The Who: Live in Texas '75 and was heavily bootlegged. It is also featured on the "30 Years of Maximum R&B" DVD set.

On October 31, 1976, Parliament-Funkadelic performed at the Summit during the P-Funk Earth Tour. The performance was recorded and released, as The Mothership Connection – Live from Houston in 1986 and later rereleased on DVD, as George Clinton: The Mothership Connection in 1998. A DVD of one of the opening acts, Bootsy's Rubber Band, was also released by P-Vine records.

Led Zeppelin performed an acclaimed and extensively bootlegged concert, on May 21, during their record-setting 1977 U.S. Tour.[9]

Aerosmith performed two shows during their Draw the Line Tour, on June 24–25, 1977, where they were noticeably intoxicated, as well as an acclaimed and heavily bootleged show, during their Permanent Vacation Tour, on February 15, 1988 and later recorded the live portions of their "Blind Man" music video, during their Get a Grip Tour, on September 30, 1994.[10]

In September 1977 the band KISS played two sold-out shows. The presentations were recorded and are part of the first volume Kissology

Queen recorded and filmed a heavily bootlegged concert at this venue on December 11, 1977, during their News of the World Tour. This concert is considered one of their best bootleg recordings.[11]

The Linda Ronstadt concert footage from the 1978 film FM, was recorded here.

Genesis' performance on October 22, 1978 was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour.[10]

On December 8, 1978, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's show, during their Darkness Tour, was released in DVD format in 2010, as part of The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story box set.[12]

On June 30, 1979, The Bee Gees performed during their Spirits Having Flown Tour. A bearded John Travolta joined them onstage, during "You Should Be Dancing", reprising his dance steps from Saturday Night Fever.

Journey performed during their Escape Tour on November 5–6, 1981, the show on the 6th was recorded and later released as a CD/DVD package, entitled Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour, in November 2005.

Prince performed during the Controversy Tour[12] on December 9, 1981, with The Time as his opening act. It was the biggest venue he had performed in thus far.

Michael Jackson performed 3 sold out concerts in April,1988 during his Bad World Tour.

Mötley Crüe performed during their Welcome to the Theatre of Pain Tour on October 4, 1985. Some of the original video for "Home Sweet Home" was filmed during the show. They performed the song twice that night, apparently to get more video footage.

Stevie Nicks performed during The Other Side of the Mirror Tour on October 5, 1989, with The Hooters as her opening act. The music video for "Whole Lotta Trouble" was filmed and the rest of the concert was recorded for a radio broadcast.

Madonna performed 2 sold out concerts at the venue on May 4 and 5, 1990 during her Blond Ambition Tour.

Paul McCartney performed during his Back in the U.S. Tour on October 13, 2002, which marked his first performance here in 26 years, since Wings' famous Wings Over America Tour on May 4, 1976.[13]

ZZ Top's final stop on their Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers Tour, on November 22, 2003, was the last ever concert performed live at the arena, before it was renovated into a church.[5]

From vacancy to Lakewood Church[edit]

In 1998, it became the first Houston sports arena to sell its naming rights. The Arena Operating Company entered into a five-year, $900,000 per year deal with then Houston-based Compaq Computer Corporation to change the name of the venue from The Summit to Compaq Center, keeping that name even after the acquisition of Compaq by Hewlett-Packard in 2002 (there was another arena named the Compaq Center in San Jose, California around this time, but has since been renamed the SAP 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 $95 million in renovations to convert the arena into the current configuration of seats and rooms for its needs; the renovations took over 15 months to complete, and the renovations included adding five stories to add more capacity.[14] During the lease, Lakewood Church had an exclusive agreement with the City of Houston for use of the former Summit, and as such, invested heavily in the structure for its use.[5] In 2001, the church signed a 30 year lease with the city.[15]

In March 2010, the church announced that it would buy the campus outright from the city of Houston for $7.5 million, terminating the lease after 7 years.[16] Marty Aaron, a real estate appraiser, said that while an "untrained eye" would "wonder how Lakewood Church purchased the Compaq Center for $7.5 million, when this is not really an arms-length sale from the city to Lakewood Church." Aaron explained that the church "put a phenomenal amount of money into the facility after the lease was initially structured, and it's really not fair that someone else would get the benefit of that." Aaron added that converting the property to a stadium-oriented facility "would probably cost as much or more than it took to turn it into a church, and right now there are probably not very many organizations that would be willing to step forward and do that."[15] The Houston City Council was scheduled to vote on the matter on Wednesday March 24, 2010.[17] City council delayed the vote.[18] On March 30 of that year, Ronald Green, the city's chief financial officer, said that he approved of the sale of the building.[19] On March 31, 2010 the Houston City Council voted 13-2 to sell the property to Lakewood.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Walter P Moore - Arenas (archived)
  3. ^ "Houston Summit to be called Compaq Center". October 30, 1997. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Looking Back: Owners, Fans Waited Years Before Rockets Took Off". Houston Chronicle. September 20, 2001. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d Martin, Robin (November 30, 2003). "Reaching the Summit: ZZ Top to Oasis of Love". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Houston Summit". July 17, 1999. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Compaq Center". Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ "WWF Royal Rumble 1989". Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Led Zeppelin Timeline". Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Houston, Texas, United States". Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Concert: Queen live in Summit, Houston, Texas, USA". Queen Concerts. Retrieved June 26, 2011
  12. ^ a b Gray, Chris (November 12, 2010). "Springsteen website: '78 Summit Show Best Video Ever". Houston Press. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  13. ^ name="Clark">Clark, Michael D. (October 14, 2002). "Paul McCartney Delivers Night of Legendary Rock". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  14. ^ Associated Press (July 17, 2005). "Nation’s largest church opens in stadium". MSNBC. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Olson, Bradley (March 22, 2010). "Lakewood to Buy Former Compaq Center". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ Shelnutt, Kate (March 22, 2010). "Lakewood to Buy Arena- Thoughts on Today's Worship Spaces". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  17. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (March 22, 2010). "Lakewood's Home Poised to Become Permanent". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  18. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (March 24, 2010). "Not so Fast, Lakewood". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  19. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (March 30, 2010). "City Controller Endorses Lakewood Sale". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 31, 2010. 
  20. ^ Olson, Bradley; Mendoza, Moises (March 31, 2010). "City Council OKs Sale of Ex-Compaq to Lakewood". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Hofheinz Pavilion
Home of the
Houston Rockets

1975 – 2002
Succeeded by
Toyota Center
Preceded by
Sam Houston Coliseum
Home of the
Houston Aeros

1975 – 1979
Succeeded by
last arena
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Houston Summit

1978 – 1980
Succeeded by
Baltimore Civic Center
Preceded by
Kungliga tennishallen
Masters Cup

Succeeded by
Madison Square Garden
New York
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Houston Aeros

1994 – 2002
Succeeded by
Toyota Center
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Houston Hotshots

1993 – 1997-1999
Succeeded by
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Houston Thunderbears

1996 – 2001
Succeeded by
last arena
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Houston Comets

1997 – 2002
Succeeded by
Toyota Center
Preceded by
7317 E. Houston Road
Home of
Lakewood Church
Central Campus

2005 – present
Succeeded by