Bawdy event leaves Cow Palace after seven-year run

The beleaguered Cow Palace is about to be deserted by another annual event — the Exotic Erotic Ball, which plans to take its party to Treasure Island.

The move is the latest blow to the venue. Earlier this year, Sen. Leland Yee announced legislation that would have allowed Daly City to purchase the Cow Palace and tear it down for development purposes. In April, a compromise was reached that would keep the indoor arena, but allow the state to sell the 13-acre overflow parking lot.

Then in May, the yearly San Francisco Flower and Garden Show announced its plans to move its event out of the Cow Palace to the renovated San Mateo County Event Center.

“When the rumors started to fly about the Cow Palace being torn down, that may have prompted us to open our eyes and start to search,” said Exotic Erotic organizer Howard Mauskopf.

Mauskopf said the 30-year-old risqué event needed a bigger event space anyway.

The 67-year-old, state-owned Cow Palace is also home to the annual San Francisco Fall Home Show and the yearly Great Dickens Christmas Fair. Still, it loses hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, including $662,000 last year, according to California Department of Agriculture figures.

Yee’s legislation would raise funds which could be used to fix the venue’s seismic safety and disability access problemsif the agriculture department considers the expenditure prudent, according to Lee.

Cow Palace CEO Walter Haub said he was disappointed to lose the Exotic Erotic Ball after seven years, but he vowed the venue would remain open. “We hate to lose any show at the Cow Palace,” he said.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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