Music - Can't stop rockin' by Z Z Top
Photographed in 1982, 1990 and 1994 using film.
The Summit - Opened in 1975 and closed in 2003. Original name was the Houston Summit 1975 - 1998. Name changed to Compaq Center 1998 - 2003.
Location - 3700 Southwest Freeway Houston, Texas
Houston's first big arena was (and still is) west of downtown Houston off the southwest freeway (US 59). The Sam Houston Coliseum was woefully inadequate. So much so that when the San Diego Rockets of the NBA moved to Houston, they refused to play any games there. Instead, they opted for the Hofheinz pavilion on the campus of the University of Houston. In 1975, the sparkling glass enclosed Summit finally opened. The Rockets were the main tenant for 28 years before moving to the new downtown Toyota Center. The Summit was only 28 years old, but way outdated. (read NO luxury suites). The Houston Aeros of the WHA left the Sam Houston Coliseum for the Summit. The team, along with the WHA folded after the 1978-1979 season. The Aeros were reborn again in 1994 and were part of the IHL/AHL. The Aeros also followed the Rockets to the new Toyota Center. After the 2013 season, the Aeros were unable to come to a lease deal with the Toyota Center and moved to Des Moines, Iowa.
Concerts, especially rock concerts, were a staple at the Summit. The Who, Led Zeppelin, Queen and Aerosmith had their shows heavily bootlegged. Journey recorded a live cd/dvd here in 1981 entitled Live in Houston 1981: the escape tour. All the music stopped on the night of November 22, 2003. Appropriately, that "lil ol band from Texas" ZZ Top played the last concert at the Summit.
After the music died and everyone left, the city of Houston leased the Summit to the Lakewood Church. The church poured about 95 million for a refurbishment of the Summit. The building is now the Lakewood Church Central Campus.
The Summit had a relatively short life as an arena, but oh the memories...from the Rockets winning the NBA championships to Gordie Howe to Led Zeppelin.... the Summit will always be remembered as the first big time arena in the city of Houston.