Fresh and New

The Editor's Guide to Toyota Center's Latest Improvements

Whether it’s a concert or basketball game, be sure to check out their newest additions for the ultimate fan experience.

By Jessica Lodge December 6, 2022

 

Since its opening in 2003, the Toyota Center has been a staple in the city. Located in the heart of Downtown and neighboring the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, and Minute Maid Park, the stadium is the setting for tons of high-profile concerts—and of course, it’s home to the Houston Rockets. 

As the arena nears its 20th anniversary, the Toyota Center is debuting some fresh upgrades and amenities. Yes, you’ve been to the Legends Locker and the Children’s Memorial Hermann Sky Court, but what about the concept suites? The bar lounges? I visited the Toyota Center for myself to see what was new—here are the most impressive innovations.

 

Image: Jessica Lodge

Concept Suites

I was able to check out two newly renovated concept suites, the Green Room and Sneaker Suite, both of which launched on November 14. The aesthetic of the

 

Image: Jessica Lodge

Green Room is quite literal, with lush greenery and painted artwork of Houston celebrities Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion, and Jalen Green, among others. Inspirational (not cheesy) quotes adorn the walls: “This is your reminder to hustle.” 

The Sneaker Suite, as you may have guessed, is an ode to the sneaker culture that runs through the city. In a partnership with local sneaker boutique Premium Goods and artist Frankie Cardona and team, this suite is home to a wall-to-wall art installation of must-have sneakers that represent the city. You’ll see the newly

 

Image: Jessica Lodge

released H-Town Air Force 1s alongside graffiti-style portraits of Notorious B.I.G and Virgil Abloh. 

“No other teams are doing this,” stated Vice President of Business Development, Sarah Gibson, of the suites. “We wanted to make sure from a business and fan perspective, that we were truly thinking ahead and creating something truly experiential… we’re changing the game.” 

PNC Club and Artwork

 

Toyota Center’s exclusive PNC Club has received some artistic tweaks, which were revealed in September. Local artist Reginald C. Adams designed some spectacular murals for the walls and open spaces. It’s an area where fans can take pictures in front of the Rockets’ mascot, Clutch, spacemen dunking over the city, sneakers, and slabs, but it also represents what Houston and its sports culture are all about.

Entry is on the expensive side, so you may want to consider convincing your company to host a party or team-building event here.

Sire Spirits Lounge

Houston transplant Curtis Jackson seems to be everywhere in the city (but I’ve had no luck in meeting him… yet). His partnership with Toyota Center has resulted in a cutting-edge club right inside the arena, which opened to the public on November 20. “We worked with 50 Cent, which was arguably the best part of the project, to bring a vibe that was unique to Houston in a basketball and arena setting,” Gretchen Sheirr, President of Business Operations, told Houstonia

Filled with booths and flat screens, this space is perfect if you want to watch the game, lounge with friends, or kick back and watch Sportscenter. Tickets, which start at $59, come with a complimentary Branson Cognac cocktail from the Sire Spirits bar, snacks, a great view of the game from the lower suite level, and an elevated food menu. To top it off, after every home game on a Friday or Saturday night, the space transforms into the “5th Quarter” for an hour-long after-party. 

 

Takeoff MKT

Having visited both the NRG Stadium and Minute Maid Park recently, I’ve

 

Image: Jessica Lodge

noticed more self-checkout stands that allow fans to purchase snacks and drink items at a much quicker pace. The Toyota Center seems to have a leg up on the competition, debuting an even more modern checkout format at the beginning of the season.

With the new Takeoff MKT (Market), fans will no longer need to scan any items. I inserted my card before walking through, grabbed a cold drink, and then walked out. Welcome to the future! One day, perhaps we’ll even be able to pick up prepackaged nachos with lots (and lots) of jalapeños and maybe even a hot dog. 

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