Lakewood Church Central Campus

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Lakewood Church Central Campus
The Lakewood Church Central Campus (originally The Summit and formally 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 1975-2003 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, until being leased to Lakewood Church in 2003, it was known as Compaq Center.

Construction of The Summit
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 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.

Notable events

It housed the Rockets, Aeros, Comets and several arena football sports teams 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 the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. 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 also held the World Wrestling Federation's Royal Rumble on January 15, 1989. This was the first time the Royal Rumble was televised on Pay-per-view. The Rumble was won by Big John Studd. It also served as the location for No Way Out of Texas Pay-Per-View in 1998. It was also host to the Justin Bull Riding Championship, a PBR Bud Light Cup bull riding event, from 1998-2000.

Prior to the construction of Toyota Center, Compaq Center was the principal Houston venue for large pop and rock music concerts. Wings performed at the venue during their famous Wings Over America Tour on May 4, 1976. On October 31, 1976, Parliament-Funkadelic performed at the venue during their similarly famous P-Funk Earth Tour. Their performance was later released on DVD in 1998. Queen recorded and filmed a heavily bootlegged concert at this venue on December 11, 1977, during their News of the World Tour. The concert is considered one of their greatest performances. Led Zeppelin performed an acclaimed and extensively bootlegged concert in The Summit on their record-setting 1977 U.S. Tour. The Linda Ronstadt concert footage from the 1978 film FM was recorded here. On December 8, 1978, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performed a concert in the Summit, which was released in DVD format in 2010, as part of the The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story box set. Aerosmith also performed during their 1977 tour where they were noticably intoxicated, as well as an acclaimed and heavily bootleged show on the Permanent Vacation Tour in 1988, and later recorded the live portions of their " Blind Man" music video at the arena during their Get a Grip Tour in 1994. A 1981 performance from the rock band Journey, was released as the CD and DVD package Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour in 2005. The video for Mötley Crüe's "Home Sweet Home" was also shot at The Summit. Prince played extensively this 16,000 seats capacity venue in the '80s. When he played there on Dec, 9, 1981, (for the Controversy Tour), it was the biggest venue he had performed in thus far. He returned the year after on December 29, 1982, for 1999 Tour (other dates include : January 10”“11, 13-14 & 16-17, 1985, on Purple Rain Tour, November 27, 1988, for Lovesexy Tour & December 31, 1997, on Jam Of The Year Tour - it has then been renamed Compaq Center). In 1989, Stevie Nicks performed at the Summit as part of The Other Side of the Mirror Tour. The music video for "Whole Lotta Trouble" was filmed and the rest of the concert was recorded for a radio broadcast. Paul McCartney performed at the venue during his Back in the U.S. Tour on October 13, 2002. This was his first performance at The Summit in 26 years, since Wings' 1976 Tour of America. ZZ Top's final stop on their Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers Tour, on November 22, 2003, was the last event held, before it was renovated into a church.

From vacancy to Lakewood Church
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 HP Pavilion). 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; the renovations took over 15 months to complete, and the renovations included adding five stories to add more capacity. Lakewood Church has an exclusive lease agreement with the City of Houston and is the only tenant allowed to use the venue. In 2001, the church had signed a 30 year lease with the city. In March 2010, the church announced that it would buy the campus from the city of Houston for $7.5 million. The sale nullifies the 30 year lease. 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." The Houston City Council was scheduled to vote on the matter on Wednesday March 24, 2010. City council delayed the vote. On March 30 of that year, Ronald Green, the city's chief financial officer, said that he approved of the sale of the building. On March 31, 2010 the Houston City Council voted 13-2 to sell the property to Lakewood.

Building Activity

  • John Perez
    John Perez updated 6 media
    about 6 years ago via
  • Andrew Young
    Andrew Young commented
    I miss "The Summit"!
    about 6 years ago via Mobile
  • Michael Mullen
    Michael Mullen commented
    Good job remodeling.
    about 6 years ago via Mobile
  • John Perez
    John Perez uploaded a media file
    enhm imag0013
    about 6 years ago via Mobile
  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via