Structure Type: built works - recreation complexes

Designers: Thomas P. Sullivan (developer)

Dates: constructed 1933-1934

Bay Meadows opened November 13, 1934, operated by William P. Kyne (1887-1957), who created several innovations in both horse racing gambling methods and track features. Kyne introduced at Bay Meadows an automatic tote board, photo-finish equipment and an enclosed starting gate. At this time, northern San Mateo County had two thoroughbred race tracks, this one and the Tanforan Race Track in San Bruno, CA, that operated between 1899-1964. Horse racing appealed to the many wealthy San Franciscans who built second homes in this part of the San Francisco Peninsula. By 1910, facilities for other sports catering to the wealthy, such as golf and polo, were also available in the Burlingame-San Mateo-Hillsborough area. The California Horse Racing Board voted in 2006 that all 5 race tracks in the state switch from dirt ovals to artificial surfaces considered more beneficial to race horses. Magna Entertainment Corporation, a Canadian holding company that owned Bay Meadows, argued that this track could not afford the $7-10 million cost of transition and that this would force its closure. The Racing Board granted a 1-year exemption for Bay Meadows in 2007, but Magna still closed it in 08/2008.

Bay Meadows contained a 1-mile, dirt oval and a 7-furlong (0.875 mile) turf oval; its grandstand held 12,000, about half that of Santa Anita, which held 26,000. The development cost approximately $400,000 originally. William Kyne, whose life read like a Horatio Alger story, lived in the same building as the egg merchant/residential developer, Joseph L. Eichler (1901-1974) at 1945 Broadway in San Francisco, CA, in 1930.

Plans called for the demolition of the track in 2008-2009;

PCAD id: 13205