BAKERSFIELD, CA – For the second straight season, the American Hockey League will have an outdoor game.
At a press conference Tuesday, the Condors announced a 18-day long Winterfest, beginning on Wednesday, December 21, and concluding with an outdoor game between the Condors and Ontario Reign on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
“AHL fans throughout California proved last year that they are dedicated and passionate about our sport,” said David Andrews, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer. “This event will be a great celebration of hockey in a unique atmosphere, and we look forward in sharing in the excitement with all of Condorstown in January.”
The Winterfest events will be held at Bakersfield College’s Memorial Stadium, which holds 19,000 people. There will be two rinks, one regulation size and one smaller “studio” rink, will be setup and managed by Rink Specialists, who have managed previous outdoor projects including Frozen Fenway at Fenway Park, Toledo Winterfest at Fifth Third Field, last season’s Golden State Hockey Rush in Sacramento, and the Hockeytown Winter Festival at Comerica Park.
Attractions will include public outdoor ice skating, youth and adult hockey tournaments, a 220-ft zip line, winter activities, live music, obstacle courses, kids play area, food and beverage vendors, and more. All told, the nearly three-week event is expected to have a $5 million impact on the city of Bakersfield.
“This is going to be a can’t miss spectacle,” said Condors Team President Matthew Riley. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the City of Bakersfield to experience all of the fun and excitement outdoors for nearly three weeks.”
This will be the ninth outdoor game in AHL history. Last year, the Condors and Stockton Heat played at Raley Field in Sacramento, with the Condors losing the game 3-2. Seven of the previous eight outdoor games have been decided by one goal or less.