|Former names||Golden Gate Park Stadium (1906-36)|
|Address||1232 John F. Kennedy Dr
San Francisco, CA 94121
|Location||Golden Gate Park|
|Owner||City and County of San Francisco|
|Operator||San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department|
|Broke ground||January 6, 1905|
|Opened||July 4, 1906|
($1.33 million in 2016 dollars)
|Architect||Reid & Reid|
The Polo Fields is a large multi-purpose stadium and sporting field in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Despite its name, polo is rarely played on the Polo Fields. The facility has a multitude of uses. There are six regulation soccer fields surrounded by a .67-mile cycle track. Wooden bleachers overlook the field and track. Above the bleachers is a 0.75-mile (1,210 m) dirt track used for running and horse riding.
The Polo Fields has been the site of diverse events over the years. The Polo Fields was originally called the Golden Gate Park Stadium and opened in 1906 as a velodrome. Cyclists from all over the West Coast have used the track for over a century. In 1967, the Human Be-In counterculture music concert was held on the Polo Fields. The Polo Fields was also the home field for San Francisco-based rugby clubs in the Northern California Rugby Football Union from the 1960s through the early 1990s. It was the site of the Golden Gate Rugby Tournament, held in April, during this time.
Cycling, soccer and cross country running events are frequently held on the Polo Fields all year long. The annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is held on the Polo Fields each August. The annual Bay to Breakers footrace also holds its post-race event, Footstock, at the Polo Fields each May.
The historic cycling track at the Polo Fields is a 1 kilometer long paved track which is used by cyclists for training and events. The cycling track was a centerpoint of bicycle racing from the 1930s through the 1950s.
The local group Friends of the Polo Field was recently formed to restore the cycling track to the original condition when it was created. Local informal race events such as the Polo Field Smack Down take place regularly during cycling season. The longest recorded continuous ride around the track was 279 laps (300 kilometers) on June 30, 2013.
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