Tucked into California legislation on gun shows is language that could eventually result in the demolition of Cow Palace, a decades-old venue for Bay Area sports and events.
Located just south of San Francisco in Daly City, Cow Palace originally opened in 1941 and has been used for livestock shows and a variety of non-sporting events over the decades–including a pair of Beatles concerts, other major musical performances, and Republican National Conventions in 1956 and 1964. It has also made its mark in sports, notably as a former home to the NBA’s San Francisco Warriors, WHL’s San Francisco Seals, a temporary venue for the NHL’s San Jose Sharks from 1991-1993, along with several other clubs that used the facility.
Its future could ride on the outcome of a bill introduced by California lawmakers on Wednesday. State senator Scott Wiener and assemblyman Phil Ting have introduced a proposal that would effectively ban gun shows from taking place at Cow Palace. Similar bills have been proposed in the past only to fall short of becoming law, but what is notable about the latest proposal is that it includes language stipulating that control of the venue’s site be transferred from a state board to an authority that includes officials from San Francisco, Daly City, and San Mateo County. Once it gains control, the local authority could then request development proposals for the site.
While it remains to be seen if this proposal results in Cow Palace’s demolition, proponents of the bill argue that the venue is underutilized and that its 68-acre site could be better put to use for development anchored by housing. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:
Wiener’s bill opens the door once again to doing away with the Cow Palace, although he said it would be up to the new governing body to decide whether to raze the building.
“The Cow Palace obviously has a storied history and there are benefits to having this large structure,” Wiener said. But it hosts fewer events than it once did, he added, and the Bay Area badly needs housing.
Bulldozing the Cow Palace could “create a new neighborhood that will benefit Daly City and San Francisco,” Wiener said….
Bill Silverfarb, a spokesman for San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, whose district includes the Cow Palace, called the venue “a dinosaur” and said its land, along the Caltrain corridor, would be a prime spot for homes and commercial space.
Cow Palace’s most recent run with professional hockey came with the ECHL’s San Francisco Bulls, who began play there in 2012. However, the club never caught on, with low attendance figures factoring into its decision to fold in January 2014, during the league’s 2013-14 season.