letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: Concrete at the Polo Field

June 23, 2022


Have I just been living under a rock? What’s going on in Golden Gate Park at the Polo Field?

Are you aware that the promoters and owners of Outside Lands (I assume) have somehow convinced the city of San Francisco to pour a permanent concrete slab on a huge portion of the western end of the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park? I mean, ACTUALLY ON THE FIELD. It also looks like they are fixing to install a concrete path around the inside of the fence. Go have a look sometime, or see the attached photo. This is fixing to be a real eyesore. When did the city decide it was in the best interest of the taxpayers of this city to pour a huge unsightly slab of concrete on the beautiful (and historical) green of the Polo fields? 

I would think that the SF public might like to know about this and would encourage you to consider an article on this topic.

Aaron Arnold

Photo by Aaron Arnold.

From the Editor:

Here is the reply we received from the City:

“This is a renovation intended to prevent damage to the far western areas of our Polo Fields following the annual Outside Lands festival and avoid delaying the field’s reopening for athletics while we repair things like broken irrigation valves. Per the agreement, Another Planet is replacing these far western turf areas with decomposed granite (and reinforced concrete in select areas particularly prone to damage). The areas being replaced are outside the area of active field use and will not impact play.”

10 replies »

  1. Polo Fields is in the western portion of Golden Gate Park which is designated according to the Golden Gate Park Master Plan as the naturalistic portion of the park. Another case of supporting private use and monetizing of our public recreation and parks space, literally paving over the intention of preserving green space in our densely populated city.

    Take a little longer to restore the field. Or shrink the concert. CONCRETE?!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is a terrible idea to pour concrete on the Polo Field. What could be more damaging to a grass field than pouring concrete on it? Is this even legal? The City’s explanation doesn’t explain anything at all. What is clear is that Outside Lands damages Golden Gate Park. Save Golden Gate Park – Get rid of Ourside Lands.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes let’s monetize all the parks in SF. That’s Ginsburgs plan with his buddies at Park Alliance. God help us if he gets his paws on a closed Great Highway. Vote YES on the ballot initiative to open JFK and the Great Highway. Save our pristine natural Ocean Beach from ugly “improvements.”


  4. I too recently discovered the new concrete pad on the Polo Field it and am outraged.. I find it hard to believe that RPD would allow this yearly three day event to take priority over this historic space in the park. We go to Golden Gate Park to get away from concrete not to see more.. Every year this concert series disrupts parts of the park for nearly a month, with fences, closed roads, and crowds. Now they’re paving over the grass. I find the City’s explanation weak. This should have been revealed to to the public before it was done.


  5. Tthat huge concrete slab may not affect actual sports conduct but it sure does affect the MAIN value of Golden Gate Park — providing Nature in the city. It reduces the amount of Nature, as is sadly happening also, step by step, little by little, degree by degree, elsewhere in Golden Gate Park


  6. We found it last night. It really harshed our mellow. And now we’re never going to see a polo game there I guess. But that new forested meadow nearby is pretty amazing. Parks and rec giveth and taketh away.


  7. I assume all the commenters and objectors here who are outraged that their expected “naturalistic” and “provided Nature” FFP experience is diminished are also outraged by the miles neither Nature nor naturalistic long paving of JFK Drive. But I’m not holding my breath because I know in truth they want a totally natural and free of the hand of man experience that they can drive their car to.


  8. The permits for this year’s Outsidelands event need to be immediately revoked by the City. It is not a visitor that respects the City.

    If Golden Gate Park was not good enough as it was for Outsidelands its time for the event to move elsewhere. Outsidelands has become like an Airbnb guest who decides they need changes in the property even though they are their only a couple of days a year. They have shown that they do not respect the heritage and purpose of the park, they are not being green. The slab needs to be immediately removed and the grounds restored. Joni Michell said it best “…They paved paradise put up a parking lot…”

    Outsidelands has become Concretelands. It’s time for them to go.


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