ON THE LINES OF THE VELODROME. - The San Francisco Examiner, 02 Aug 1896

From Wooljersey


A Colossal Home of Amusement to Be Erected Near the Park Panhandle.

It Will Cover a Complete Block and Will Be Equipped for All Forms of Sport.
Accommodations for Horse Shows, Indoor Football, Tennis, Handball, Track Athletics and What Not.

There is a plan on foot for the erection of one of the largest edifices in the world out in the direction of Golden Gate Park. The place is to be called The Velodrome, after the immense structure of that name in Paris, and it will be devoted to all forms of sport, recreation and amusement.

The promoters of the concern have secured a seven years' lease of the block bounded by Baker, Fell, Lyon and Hayes streets, and unless some unforeseen hitch occurs work on the vast building will be begun within thirty days. Articles of incorporation have already been prepared by Attorney W. H. Chapman, and to-morrow they will be forwarded to Sacramento. The Velodrome Company will have a capital stock of $50,000, and of this $40,000 will be expended in the erection of a colossal corrugated iron structure.

The size of the lot is 400 feet by 275 feet, and the building will cover the whole of the ground. The outer walls are to be thirty feet in height, and the immense arched roof will be constructed in such shape that no posts will be required to support it.

One of the features of the inclosure will be a six-lap bicycle track, built on the latest and most approved plans. Then there will be a cinder path for track athletes, as well as a straightaway 100 yards in length. There will be indoor racquet and lawn-tennis courts, and a handball court of the full regulation size. What will interest college men particularly, there will be a perennially dry football field beneath the vast roof, so that in future Thanksgiving games the weather will have no dampening effect on the battles for supremacy.

An effort will be made to rush the structure, so that the projected horse show may be held in it, and it is stated on good authority that the Velodrome will contain stall accommodation for 1,100 horses.

It is proposed to establish a high-class riding academy in connection with the Velodrome and if satisfactory arrangements are concluded the several bicycle clubs in this city and across the bay will be permitted to maintain separate headquarters there.

In the matter of baths there will be a salt-water plunge together with steam and hot-air baths and a big cafe and saloon will be included in the internal arrangements.

The desire will be to induce promoters not only of bicycle events but of all big pastime enterprises to hold their gatherings at the Velodrome, especially during bad weather, and there will be a variety of side issues in the shape of chutes and scenic railways in addition to those already enumerated. The full seating capacity of the building will be 21,000.

The big lot on which the Velodrome is to be erected belongs to the Van Bergen estate and the promoters are assured the option of an additional seven years' lease should they desire it.

Elwell, the well-known hack [sic] builder, has been awarded the contract for the bicycle track, which is to cost $40,000.