The Cow Palace was completed in 1941. The new arena boasted a concrete and steel roof that covered nearly six acres. The first event to be held in the new arena was the Western Classic Holstein Show in April, 1941. In November of that year, the first Grand National Livestock Expo, Horse Show and Rodeo was held, featuring a tribute to the late Will Rogers. The show was declared a smash hit.
The long term tenants of the Cow Palace include the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, the San Francisco Sport & Boat Show, the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show, Body Art Expo, Dickens Christmans Fair and Disney on Ice. In addition it is home to the Grand National Livestock Exposition, Horse Show & Rodeo.