DFW Music News

A Brief Look at the Naming Rights History of Gexa Energy Pavilion, Recently Renamed Starplex

Starplex, Gexa, SuperPages.com Center ... whatever you call it, everyone has watched a show from this South Dallas venue's lawn seats at one point or another.
Starplex, Gexa, SuperPages.com Center ... whatever you call it, everyone has watched a show from this South Dallas venue's lawn seats at one point or another. Mikel Galicia
Since opening in 1988, Fair Park’s Gexa Energy Pavilion has officially changed its name more times than Sean John Combs (also known as P. Diddy, Diddy, Puff Daddy or Puff).

News recently broke that the Live Nation-operated concert venue will now go by Starplex Pavilion, a name similar to its 1998 title, Starplex Amphitheater. But no one knows if the nostalgic name will stick.

Dallas Observer confirmed the name change on Tuesday via email with Kaitlyn Henrich of Live Nation’s communication department. Henrich stated that no additional information on the switch was available at this time.

For its first 10 years, the city-owned venue was known as Coca-Cola Starplex Amphitheater, and after the loss of naming rights, simply Starplex Amphitheater. Two years later, another sale was made and the venue went by Smirnoff Music Centre, or The Music Center at Fair Park during underage shows.

After an eight-year run for the vodka company, naming rights were purchased by yet another business and the SuperPages.com Center was born. A Houston-based electricity provider swooped in and purchased naming rights two years later and the venue took on the title Gexa Energy Pavilion in 2008. Mix them all together and you get GexaPlex, another common name used to describe the venue.

During its glory days as Starplex Amphitheater (1998-2000), Dallas delighted in the very best of late-'90s rock and metal music. Think: Ozzy Osbourne, Incubus, Godsmack, Pantera, P.O.D., Shuvel, Nine Inch Nails, Styx, Everclear, Blink-182, KISS, Chevelle, Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

According to DallasPavillion.org, a “local, independent website for the people of Dallas and not affiliated or sponsored by Live Nation, Ticketmaster or Gexa Energy Pavilion,” the 20,000-seat amphitheater has hosted more than 600 concerts for more than 6 million people since its creation.

Whether you remember the days of death metal during the dawn of Starplex, or you posed as a scene kid to partake in Warped Tour as a teen, chances are you’ve watched the sun set over South Dallas from this venue’s legendary lawn seats.

We don’t care what your name is, Starplex, we are just glad you’re still around.

For upcoming concerts and events, follow Starplex Pavilion’s new Twitter account.
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Mollie Jamison is a freelance writer covering music and culture for the Dallas Observer. She studied journalism and political science at the University of North Texas. In her free time, you'll find her at contemporary art museums and karaoke joints.