Culture / Sporting Life

The Houston Rockets’ Tricked Out Suites Take Luxury Sports Seating Into a New Realm — Inside the Toyota Center’s Unique Retreats

Sneakerheads, Street Artists and a True Designer Style Rule With a Major Gin Braverman Assist

BY // 01.12.23
photography Courtesy of Gin Design Group

Toyota Center and the Houston Rockets are catapulting the suite experience into the stratosphere with two immersive retreats designed to rock your world. Opting for either the Sneaker Suite or the Green Room, Rockets fans and concert-goers will find themselves immersed in a colorful, hip-hop art filled cosmos unlike any other.

Think the work of local street artists celebrating the Rockets in murals, a wall of must-have sneakers, selfie-inspiring graffiti-esque slogans, sculptural furnishings, a gridded mural featuring hip-hop and streetwear cultural icons including Notorious B.I.G. and Virgil Abloh, along with Michael Jordan’s famous ‘89 commercial tagline “It’s Gotta be the Shoes.”

“They are so dope,” says Sarah Gibson, vice president of business development for the Rockets and Toyota Center, embracing Gen Z lingua franca. Gibson thought up the idea of suites that offer something totally different in the realm of luxury arena seating.

“Dope,” indeed. The Sneaker Suite amplifies the sneakerhead underworld that permeates an element of Houston culture. It highlights basketball lifestyle and local artists as well as Rockets personalities via a gridded mural.

For the Green Room, local artists were tapped to celebrate the oeuvre of pop art and postmodern influences. The ceiling features a bold, suspended mural from Houston artist Shelbi Nicole, and its turquoise lacquered walls are tagged with pop slogans like Cher’s “Mom, I am a rich man” and “This is your reminder to hu$tle.”

“These are my babies. These are my passion,” Gibson tells PaperCity.

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Contemporary furniture marks the luxe Green Room suite at Toyota Center (Photo by Courtesy of Gin Design Group)
Contemporary furniture marks the luxe Green Room suite at Toyota Center (Photo by Courtesy of Gin Design Group)

The team effort included Gibson and her young mentee Alisha Naik, Jennifer Ford of Premium Goods and designer Gin Braverman whose namesake firm transformed the story boards and vision boards into reality.

“This is a true collaboration,” Gibson says. And, yes, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta signed off on the project, putting his faith in Gibson to select top talent to complete the suites.

“We were super excited to be tapped by the Rockets marketing team to design these two concept suites, which they hope to be prototypes to encourage other suite holders to follow suit,” Braverman says. “This concept is the first-to-market for arena suites and definitely a departure from our normal design category.

“We worked with the Toyota Center team to create a backdrop for local creatives to showcase their work. Being able to collaborate with such prolific Houston artists and thought-leaders is a huge part of what we do, and was especially fun in this environment.”

It's all about the grid and designer treads in the Sneaker Suite (Photo by Courtesy of Gin Design Group)
It’s all about the grid and designer treads in the Sneaker Suite (Photo by Courtesy of Gin Design Group)

Artists involved in the suite collaboration included Franky Cardona, Floyd Mendoza, Fernando Aragon (aka Noke), Jesse de Leon, Sodina Cheek (aka Purple Sody), Rachel Harvey (aka Ray Trill Harvey), Israel Rodriguez (Jalen art) and Demetra Sanders.

The suites are available for rental for Rockets games and concerts with pricing starting in the mid-four figures. Suite rentals can be booked here or by calling (713) 758-7296.

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