Bill Maher Show
This was my first time at the Smart Financial Centre and the place is really nice and an excellent place to see a show. There was plenty of seating and the place is really big, so you should at least come about an hour before your event starts. Also, they have concessions on every level, which is great because to get to level 2 concourse you need to take an elevator. It is the usual fare like popcorn and pretzels, but they have a small selection of cocktails and even energy drinks.
My seats were on the Loge level and was part of the wheelchair accessible row, which has a lot of room. The seats were so so, it felt like the front stage was so far away. Also, the seats were foldable and were uncomfortable for those that don’t use a chair. If I could do it over, I would pay more for seating on the Orchestra level or first floor. Nevertheless, that didn’t impact my show and I had a wonderful time.
The show with Bill Maher was great and definitely not for children or those that have no tolerance for bad language. However, his standup was not very different from his HBO show, realtime with Bill Maher. There was some new funny stuff and even a scene where he mocked a person in the audience who had their phone out. Overall, I would say his show was pretty good, but he was a little off compared to previous shows I attended.
Accessibility of this venue was average compared to other entertainment venues in the Houston area. The biggest problem was accessible parking was not relatively close to the building and you have to travel across the street to get to the cut away. I think the parking could had been designed much better and the set up is problematic for those that walk with adaptations or canes.
Another thing you need to be aware of is the airport style security and metal detectors. Fortunately, I had a manual chair so I didn’t need a pat down, but I’m not sure what they do for powered chairs. In any case, I would come extra early to prepare for security.
For seating in the venue I would say it was done reasonably well and the wheelchair accessible rows had a lot of room. They do have several accessible sections on the Orchestra level in sections 102 and 103.
Lastly, regular bathrooms were mostly wheelchair accessible and they have family restrooms on each level if you need more space to maneuver.
Overall, the venue was really nice with some hiccups that will be problematic for those with disabilities, but the place is still worth the aggravation and hassle to see your favorite comedian or musician.
Accessible Rating: B
Venue Rating: B+
Address: 18111 Lexington Boulevard, Sugar Land, Texas 77479
Phone: (281) 207-6278
Website: Smart Financial Centre