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Cow Palace
Cow Palace (front).jpg
Former names California State Livestock Pavilion
Location 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City, California 94117
Coordinates 37°42′24″N 122°25′7″W / 37.70667°N 122.41861°W / 37.70667; -122.41861Coordinates: 37°42′24″N 122°25′7″W / 37.70667°N 122.41861°W / 37.70667; -122.41861
Opened April, 1941
Owner California Department of Food and Agriculture
Capacity Basketball: 12,953
Ice hockey: 11,089
San Francisco Warriors (NBA) (1962-1964), (1966-1971)
San Francisco Seals (WHL) (1961-1967)
San Jose Sharks (NHL) (1991-1993)
San Francisco Spiders (IHL) (1995-1996)
Grand National Rodeo (1941-present)
1960 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
San Francisco Fog (MISL) (1980–1981)

The Cow Palace (originally known as the California State Livestock Pavilion) is an indoor arena in Daly City, California, situated on the city's border with neighboring San Francisco.



Completed in 1941 it hosted the San Francisco Warriors of the NBA from 1962 to 1964 and again from 1966 to 1971. The Warriors temporarily returned to the Cow Palace to host the 1975 NBA Finals due to the fact that the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena was booked for an Ice Follies performance. It was the site of both the 1956 Republican National Convention, and the 1964 Republican National Convention. It also hosted the San Jose Sharks of the NHL from 1991 to 1993 until the San Jose Arena was built. During the 1960s and 1970s, the SF Examiner Games, a world-class indoor track and field meet, was held annually at the Cow Palace. Additionally it hosted the Bay Bombers of the Roller Derby; the Derby's world championship playoffs were held at the Cow Palace every fall beginning from 1959 through 1973, when the organization was disbanded. The arena seats 11,089 for ice hockey and 12,953 for basketball. It has also been the home of the annual Grand National Rodeo, Horse & Stock Show since 1941 (except for a break from 1942 to 1945 due to World War II). The venue hosted the 1960 men's NCAA basketball Final Four and the 1967 NBA All-Star Game. It hosted four WCW SuperBrawl shows between 1997 and 2000. It was the site of WWE No Way Out, in 2004, remembered as the event where Eddie Guerrero won the WWE Championship.[1] On July 17, 2008, it served as the audition venue for the 8th season of American Idol.[2]

Behind the name

The idea for the arena was originally conceived as the result of the popularity of the livestock pavilion at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. One story for how the current name came about tells of a newspaper editorial that wondered aloud "Why, when people are starving, should money be spent on a "palace for cows?" Thus, the Cow Palace was born. The real story of how the Cow Palace got its name is not from a newspaper editorial, but from a man named Willard S. Anderson. Willard worked for an advertising agency called Fletcher Udall & Associates as an Art Director. One of his advertising accounts was the San Francisco International Livestock Pavilion (built to hold livestock shows). When he and his boss went out to look at the beautiful new building he said "What a beautiful palace for cows" and that's how the Cow Palace got its name.

During World War II

The arena opened in April, 1941. During World War II, though, the arena was used for processing soldiers bound for the Pacific Theater. In the following years, it hosted innumerable hockey and basketball games, wrestling and boxing matches, concerts, Roller derby and political events, most notably the 1956 and 1964 Republican National Conventions. The arena is still used for the Grand National Rodeo today and other events.


The San Francisco Warriors of the National Basketball Association called the Cow Palace home from 1962-1964 and from 1966-1971. The franchise then moved across the bay to the new Oakland Coliseum Arena and changed their moniker to "Golden State Warriors."

The Warriors lost to the Boston Celtics in the 1964 NBA Finals. The 1967 NBA Finals between Golden State and the Philadelphia 76ers saw three games held at the Cow Palace.

The Major Indoor Soccer League came to the Cow Palace for the 1980-81 season, when David Schoenstadt relocated his Detroit Lightning there, renaming them the San Francisco Fog. After a dismal season with an 11-29 record and less than a thousand fans per game, Schoenstadt moved the franchise again, this time to Kemper Arena, where the team flourished as the Kansas City Comets.

More recently, the NHL's San Jose Sharks played their first two seasons of existence at the Cow Palace, although the NHL had previously rejected the building in 1967 as a home for the expansion California Seals franchise. From 1991 to 1993, the Sharks sold out every game played at the building, although its capacity for hockey games was just over 11,000. It was one of the last buildings to house a smaller than NHL-standard rink.

San Jose lost their first game at the Cow Palace to the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on October 5, 1991. Wayne Presley scored the first Sharks goal at the arena. Three nights later, San Jose won their first game in franchise history there, a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames.

The Sharks second season in the Cow Palace was highlighted by a 17 game losing streak and a league record 71 losses. The Sharks ended their run at the Cow Palace at the conclusion of the 1992-93 season with a 3-2 loss to eventual Campbell Conference champion Los Angeles on April 10, 1993. The team moved to the new San Jose Arena to start 1993-94 after going 22-56-4 at their first home.

At the Cow Palace, the Sharks recorded the franchise's first win, shutout (Arturs Irbe) and hat trick (Rob Gaudreau). The team also introduced their mascot, SJ Sharkie, on the Cow Palace ice in mid-1992 when he climbed out of the front of a Zamboni. He later bungee jumped from the rafters near the end of the 1st season.

In 1995, the IHL's San Francisco Spiders played their only season at the Cow Palace. Ironically, several players who played for the Sharks during their Cow Palace years suited up for the Spiders that year. Former Shark defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh actually scored the first goal in team history. The team was bounced in the first round of the 1996 Turner Cup Playoffs despite goaltender Stephane Beauregard winning the league's MVP that season. Due to poor attendance, the team ceased operations at the end of the 1995-96 season.

Band concerts

The Beatles first US tour started here August 19, 1964 and they performed here in 1965, as the conclusion to their second North American tour.

During a 1973 The Who concert, the band's drummer Keith Moon passed out from an overdose of horse tranquilizers and a fan of the band Scot Halpin completed the group's set that evening.

A majority of the songs on the album Live Rust and the concert film Rust Never Sleeps by Neil Young & Crazy Horse were recorded during a concert at the Cow Palace on October 22, 1978. Fleetwood Mac filmed both of their 12 and 13 December 1987 concerts at the Palace for a DVD, later released in 1988. The Allman Brothers Band played there on New Year's Eve, 1973 with Grateful Dead members sitting in. The Grateful Dead also held a double bill with Santana on New Year's Eve 1976 and released a live CD, titled "Live at the Cow Palace: New Year's Eve 1976". Live 105's 10-for-10 (10 bands for 10 bucks) was held there in the 1990s, featuring Beck, Orbital, Cake and The Chemical Brothers as well as 6 other bands.

On April 14th, 2010 Muse will perform at the Cow Palace as part of The Resistance Tour

Rodeos and livestock expositions

California Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Fairs and Expositions

The Cow Palace is officially the 1-A District Agricultural Association, a State agency of the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Division of Fairs and Expositions. It has extensive stable and barn facilities for animal events, which are used for the annual Grand National Rodeo and occasionally for other events.

Recent developments

In the spring of 2008, State Senator Leland Yee advanced legislation to allow Daly City to purchase the Cow Palace from California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Fairs and Expositions in order to develop housing, basic amenities, and possibly a school for the surrounding area.[3][4] However, the legislation was opposed by groups that regularly use the venue and other California citizens outside Daly City.[5][6][7]

On September 9, 2008 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed this proposed sale of the Cow Palace overflow parking lot.[8] Following the 2008 publicity associated with Leland Yee's failed bill, the Cow Palace board of directors entered exclusive negotiations with Cypress Equities for a 60-year lease to develop the 13 acres (53,000 m2) proposed by Daly City.[9]


The Cow Palace has a Daly City address, and except for the very northwest corner of the parking lot it lies physically entirely within Daly City. But by most people it is known as a San Francisco attraction because it is barely across the border.

See also


External links

Preceded by

Philadelphia Arena

War Memorial Gymnasium
Home of the
San Francisco Warriors

1962 – 64
1966 – 71
Succeeded by

War Memorial Gymnasium

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
San Jose Sharks

1991 – 1993
Succeeded by
HP Pavilion
Preceded by
Municipal Auditorium
International Amphitheatre
Host of the
Republican National Convention

Succeeded by
International Amphitheatre
Miami Beach Convention Center
Preceded by
Freedom Hall
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

Succeeded by
Municipal Auditorium
Preceded by
Cincinnati Gardens
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Madison Square Garden

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