Polo Fields

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Polo Fields
Golden gate park polo field.jpg
Former namesGolden Gate Park Stadium (1906-36)
Address1232 John F. Kennedy Dr
San Francisco, CA 94121
LocationGolden Gate Park
OwnerCity and County of San Francisco
OperatorSan Francisco Recreation & Parks Department
Broke groundJanuary 6, 1905 (1905-01-06)
OpenedJuly 4, 1906 (1906-07-04)
Construction cost$50,000
($1.39 million in 2018 dollars[1])
ArchitectReid & Reid

The Polo Fields is a large multi-purpose stadium and sporting field in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.[2] Despite its name, polo is rarely played on the Polo Fields. The facility has a multitude of uses.[3] There are six regulation soccer fields surrounded by a .67-mile cycle track.[4] Wooden bleachers overlook the field and track.[5] Above the bleachers is a 0.75-mile (1,210 m) dirt track used for running and horse riding.[6]


The Polo Fields has been the site of diverse events over the years.[7] The Polo Fields was originally called the Golden Gate Park Stadium and opened in 1906 as a velodrome.[8] Cyclists from all over the West Coast have used the track for over a century.[9] In 1967, the Human Be-In counterculture music concert was held on the Polo Fields.[10] 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.[11] The annual Bay to Breakers footrace also holds its post-race event, Footstock, at the Polo Fields each May.[12]

Golden gate park stadium.jpg

Cycling Track[edit]

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.[13]

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.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "SFGate Events". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Golden Gate Park (West)". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Cycling in the SF bay area cyclingtales.com". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  5. ^ "The Polo Fields and the Hellyer Velodrome". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  6. ^ "US Track - Polo Fields". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  7. ^ "SF Days - Golden Gate Park History". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Golden Gate Park - Polo Fields". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  9. ^ "Bikely - Polo Fields". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  10. ^ "PBS American Experience". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  11. ^ "SF Outside Lands". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Bay to Breakers". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  13. ^ http://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/license-race-cycling-golden-gate-park-polo-field-1930s%E2%80%931950s
  14. ^ https://www.strava.com/activities/63951434

External links[edit]