News » Rockets don't see the light, try a different court Team sues over sign that's been dark for 9 months


Rockets don't see the light, try a different court Team sues over sign that's been dark for 9 months


Rockets don't see the light, try a different court Team sues over sign that's been dark for 9 months Helicopters passing over down?town Houston have had less to see the past few months - the Toyota Center's red rooftop sign has been dark.

The giant glowing lights with the automaker's emblem and the name Toyota Center that curve with the roof above the home of the Houston Rockets went out early this year after a fire. The team's umbrella company sued three light companies this week to try to get it relighted.

Accusing the light display's designer, producer and installer all of breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud and other civil allegations, Clutch City Sports & Entertainment asks in a lawsuit for unspecified damages.

"On February 19, 2009, the sign caught fire and has not been re-energized due to the fire danger that its current condition poses," reads the lawsuit. "To this date, and with the Rockets' season in full swing, the sign remains damaged and unlit despite plaintiff's repeated requests to all defendants to rectify the defects with the sign."

Clutch City sued Bos Lighting Design, which designed the display; iLight Technologies, which produced the sign; and Melton Electric, which installed it.

John Bos, the Houston-based designer of the lights, said the Rockets have been unable to resolve the issue with the manufacturer and sued everybody.

He said the display uses LED bulbs backlighting a round frosted red tube that looks like neon but is less expensive and less likely to break in hurricane winds.

The marketing director of Chicago-based iLight did not respond to repeated e-mails and calls for this story. An employee at Melton in Houston said the company would have no comment.

Rockets spokesman Nelson Luis said the lights were designed for helicopter shots and that such signs typically are part of a sponsorship deal.

The Toyota Center is owned by the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. It is operated by Clutch City, which is controlled by Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. The center hosts the Rockets , the Houston Aeros and many entertainment events.

The arena seats about 18,000 and had its groundbreaking in 2001. Toyota purchased naming rights in 2003, a few months before it opened.

mary.flood@chron.com


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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 5, 2009

 

 
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