Toyota Center visitor guide: everything you need to know

Published by: BouncePosted
Toyota Center visitor guide

Houston’s Toyota Center was built in response to a threat.

Back in the mid-90s, the owner of the Houston Rockets NBA team wanted to get out of his lease with the Summit Center and moved to a new purpose-built arena. However, the City of Houston wouldn’t allow the Rockets out of their lease with the owner of the Summit Center, which was also home to the Houston Aeros hockey team.

The messy legal battle over building a new publicly funded stadium cost Houston an expansion NHL team and almost cost them their basketball team, too, when the NBA stated that without a new arena, they might relocate the franchise.

Finally, the Toyota Center was begun in 2001 and opened in 2003.

In the time since, this nearly 20,000-seat indoor arena has become a fixture of the Houston entertainment scene. As well as the home of the Rockets, the arena has hosted several concerts, including a Fleetwood Mac concert that was the first event ever held there. Likes of Garth Brooks, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, Rihanna, Madonna, and Adele have all played at this arena over the two decades it has been in operation.

Whether you’re visiting the Toyota Center to watch basketball, enjoy a concert, or enjoy another event, you’ll have an easier time navigating the stadium's bag policy if you leave your bags behind in a convenient Houston luggage storage. Bounce can help you find affordable and secure Toyota Center luggage storage so you can leave the bags behind and enjoy your event worry-free.

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Toyota Center food policy

Toyota Center bag policy

The Toyota Center bag policy allows bags that are up to 14” x 14” x 6” in size. The stadium does not have a clear bag policy, so as long as the bag is within the size requirements, you should be able to bring it inside. However, be aware that all bags will be subject to X-ray scanning.

If you’re able to travel light, bags of 8.5” x 5.5” are not X-rayed but are instead visually inspected, which can make it quicker to get through security.

Bags larger than 14” x 14” x 6” are not allowed, with the sole exception being medical bags.

Note that if your bag is larger than what is allowed inside, you will not be allowed entry until you store it somewhere. There are no Toyota Center lockers, so you’ll need to find a bag storage somewhere nearby where you can safely leave your things.

Toyota Center food policy

The Toyota Center food policy is quite clear. No outside food or drink is to be brought into the stadium. This outside food policy also prohibits empty containers such as bottles and cans, so if you want anything to eat or drink, you’ll need to buy it inside.

Fortunately, there are quite a few options for food at the Toyota Center.

The arena concourse is where you’ll find most of the Toyota Center concessions. For example, there’s a Pizza Hut serving - well, pizza, obviously. There are also several hotdog vendors, including Big Dawg and Kiddie Dog. You’ll also find several places selling nachos and quesadillas, along with burger joints and barbecue kiosks.

Along with these outlets, you’ll also find premium vendors in the Frost Bank East and West Clubs. Accessing these areas requires a premium ticket for your event, but you’ll find a good selection of tacos, burgers, and other food and drink here, along with much smaller crowds.

How to get to the Toyota Center

Toyota Center transportation

If you’re wondering how to get to the Toyota Center, there are a few options available to you.

The Toyota Center is quite centrally located near downtown Houston, but if you want to drive, you’ll find parking at the Toyota Tundra Garage at 1515 Jackson St. However, on Rockets game days, this parking is reserved only for pass holders.

The Toyota Center itself offers 2500 parking spaces spread over a seven-floor parking garage attached to the arena. You’ll also find lots of private car parks in the streets surrounding the arena that will be happy to take your money for an evening's parking.

Toyota Center public transportation

The closest bus stop to the Toyota Center is located on Polk St at Avenida De Las Americas and is just a couple minutes' walk from the stadium. Bus routes 40 and 41 serve the stop, with enhanced service on game days.

If you’d prefer to arrive in a little more style, the Toyota Center has an Uber zone at the Bell Street entrance, so the car-sharing service can pick you up and drop you off.

Toyota Center camera policy

The Toyota Center camera policy varies a little according to the event, with cameras completely prohibited at some concerts. In general, though, you’ll get away with a small camera that has a lens not exceeding 4 inches in length or your cell phone. Note that flash photography is prohibited at some events.

Meanwhile, professional camera equipment is almost never allowed inside. That includes large telephoto lenses, lights, tripods, and monopods. Best to leave this equipment behind in a convenient luggage storage so that you don’t break the rules.

Toyota Center rules and regulations

Toyota Center rules

Along with the rules around the size of bags you can bring in and the kind of camera you can have, there are some other rules and regulations at the Toyota Center that you should be aware of. Toyota Center policies prohibit:

·        outside alcohol

·        animals, with the exception of service animals

·        banners and flags larger than 17” x 11”

·        clothing with offensive or obscene text or images

·        laptops, coolers, fireworks, selfie sticks, packages, GoPros, and weapons of any kind.

The Toyota Center Covid rules do not mandate facemasks or require proof of vaccination to enter at this time, but notes that these policies can change according to recommendations by the Texas State Health Department. 

Also, note that all concession stands within the arena are cashless. If you don’t have a credit card or contactless payment option such as your cell phone, you can buy virtual currency at the box office with cash and use that at the concessions.


Houston is a great city with lots to do, including taking in a game or show at the Toyota Center. Just make sure to leave your unneeded bags behind so that you can focus on enjoying your event and not worry about breaking any of the stadium’s rules.

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