The total costs were 5 million, with the city of Houston paying the majority, and the Rockets paying for enhancements. However, the city of Houston filed a counterclaim to force the Rockets to stay at the Summit, saying that if the Rockets did not honor their contract, then they might "have no incentive to honor any new agreement with the city of Houston to play in a new downtown sports arena".
It has 103 luxury suites and 2,900 club seats (Sections 105-109, Rockets Club West; Sections 118-122, Rockets Club East).
The arena is home to the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association, the principal users of the building, and the former home of the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.
Rockets owner Leslie Alexander first began to request a new arena in 1995, and attempted to release the Rockets from their lease at The Summit, which ran until 2003.
However, he was denied by arena owner Chuck Watson, then-owner of the Aeros, who also wanted control of a new arena.
The two sides agreed to equal control over an arena in a deal signed in 1997, but the proposal was rejected by city voters in a 1999 referendum.
It was not until the city and the Rockets signed an amended agreement in 2001, excluding the Aeros, that the proposal was accepted.Construction began in July 2001, and the new arena was officially opened in October 2003.The roof was set on in December, as work continued inside, with a peak workforce of 650.In September 2003, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the official opening of the arena.The Houston Sports Authority had not planned to meet with the Rockets until after the 1999–2000 NBA season ended, but after the Rockets began to talk to other cities about relocation, they resumed talks in February 2000.Concrete was poured for the foundation throughout the summer of 2002, and structural work began in October.