Tight Fight: Bring Back the Summit!

While sitting in the Toyota Center rafters for the Foo Fighter’s show Tuesday night, I was reminded of the two things I hate about Toyota Center. The sound sucks. And the seats are designed for little people.

Can’t we just do a deal with those idiots at Lakewood and swap them Toyota Center for the Summit? I grew up with the Summit. I sat in every area of that arena where it was possible to sit. And never, never, ever, did I sit in a bad seat. Never did I sit in a seat that had blind spots. Never did I have to sit in a seat where my chin was resting on knee because I didn’t have anywhere else to put my chin.

I’ve had more room leg room on a packed Southwest Airlines flight to Orlando than I have had at any seat in the upper level of Toyota Center. I know the pricks in the suites are supposed to be important, but it’s not like they’re actually watching the game – or actually attending – so why are the people punished who actually want to watch the Rockets lose? I wonder, did any of the architects for Toyota Center ever bother to sit their ass down in any of those seats they were designing? If they did, were they frigging little people? How’s anybody over six feet tall supposed to sit comfortably in those things?

The Summit wasn’t like this. I had just as much leg room in the upper level seats as the bottom level seats, and that was plenty – and I felt closer to the action in the upper levels of the Summit than I do at the upper level of Toyota Center. Maybe I should file some kind of discrimination suit. And if I were to get a jury of my peers, i.e. people over six feet tall, I’d win without a question. Hell, I’ve seen short people trying to find some way to tuck their legs about them so that they’re not cramped. How hard is it to design these seats?

I’ve been to Philips Arena in Atlanta, which was built about the same time as Toyota Center, and they managed to get the upper deck right. If they can get it right in Atlanta, surely it could have been done in Houston.

And speaking of design, who was responsible for the sound? Reliant Stadium has better acoustics than Toyota Center. Dave Grohl supposedly said a lot of witty things Tuesday night, but I wouldn’t know. I know he was talking, but I couldn’t understand him. And if I didn’t know the Foo Fighter’s songs, I sure wouldn’t have known what the song lyrics were. I saw Bruce Springsteen and U2 at the Summit while I was sitting in approximately the same seats as I had for the Foo Fighters, and I never had trouble understanding anything. Hell, I’ve been in concrete bunkers that have a better sound than Toyota Center.

I’m bitching about the sound for the Foo Fighters, but it’s not just a problem with concerts. I sit in the press box for the Aeros, which is on the lower bowl, and we always have to ask each other what the PA guy just said because the sound is so bad. And the Rockets are just as bad.

Perhaps the reason Rockets attendance is bad isn’t because the team is bad, it’s because the seating and the sound is so much better from home. You’re supposed to want to go to the game for the atmosphere and to be with your fellow fans. But when the facility sucks, and when the previous arena was so damn superior from a fan perspective, why should anybody venture out?

It’s obvious Toyota Center wasn’t designed with the fans in mind. It was designed for the pricks in the suites watching the game on the TV in the back. Well, let them keep their suites. Give us fans back our arena. Give us back the Summit; just get rid of the Osteens first. – John Royal

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