After a cryptic tweet on August 16 got the rumors going...
... the Bakersfield Condors (AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers) announced this morning that they will be hosting an outdoor hockey game at Memorial Stadium, on the campus of Bakersfield College. Their opponent? The Ontario Reign! The clubs will be battling it out in the “elements” on January 7, 2017 at 6 PM Pacific.
"Why not play outdoor hockey in Bakersfield?" - Condors Team President Matthew Rileyhttps://t.co/6xuzEQiQaQ— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) August 23, 2016
The full scoop can be seen on the Condors’ website. The game itself is being billed as (deep breath) the Three-Way Chevrolet Condorstown Outdoor Classic presented by Mission Bank, and it’s listed as the “signature event” of Bakersfield’s Winterfest, which runs from December 20 until January 7. The Winterfest will feature winter activities, obstacle courses, a zip line, and naturally, outdoor ice: one smaller rink, and one regulation-sized rink. That’s where the Condors and the Reign come in!
Bakersfield joins Syracuse, Philadelphia, Detroit, Hershey, Rochester, Hamilton, Hartford, and Sacramento as cities to host an outdoor game. (You can see the previous eight here.) Neither the Reign or the Manchester Monarchs have ever taken part in a regular-season outdoor game, though the Los Angeles Kings took part in the 2013 and 2015 Stadium Series at Dodger Stadium and Levi’s Stadium, respectively. Hopefully the Reign can duplicate their parent club’s achievement and win on the road.
As for the “elements” I mentioned above? The temperature in Bakersfield usually hovers in the 40s and 50s in January. Bring a jacket.