Bakersfield, CA, Southern Gateway to the Central Valley, is famous for being home to country music giants, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, creator of the “Bakersfield Sound.” At one time, the city bore the nickname of “the country music capital of the West Coast.”
However, with the arrival in 2015 of the Bakersfield Condors, the minor league hockey team in Bakersfield, CA, the city’s going by a new nickname — “Condorstown.” The Condors are a professional ice hockey team in the AHL, one of the top hockey leagues in the world, producing over 85% of the professional players in the NHL.
The team, owned by and affiliated with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, came to Bakersfield when the Oilers decided to relocate their franchise, the Oklahoma Barons, to California to join four other AHL franchises in order to form the new Pacific Division of the AHL in 2015.
The Oilers Entertainment Group held a name-the-team contest from January 3 until February 15, 2015, with the “Condors” getting the nod for best name. The team unveiled their new logo and colors — blue, orange, dark grey, and white — in April of 2015, and played in the AHL’s first outdoor game in California in December of the same year — the Golden State Hockey Rush.
In addition to the Condors, the Pacific Division is currently made up of the Colorado Eagles, Henderson Silver Knights, Ontario Reign, San Diego Gulls, San Jose Barracuda, and Tucson Runners. The Stockton Heat has been temporarily relocated to Calgary for the 2020-2021 AHL season. Condors’ home games are played at Bakersfield’s Mechanics Bank Arena.
With one of the strongest brands among all of the minor league sports in North America, Bakersfield Condors games have been providing fun and entertainment to their fans for almost 20 years. The team is a perennial local finalist for Best Family Entertainment and the Condors Community Foundation (CCF) hosts a variety of fundraising events to benefit the local community. The team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss, in partnership with the United Way of Kern County, now in its 22nd year, provides stuffed animals to less fortunate children for the holidays.
In addition to their Community Foundation, the Condors Big Buddies Program provides businesses with the opportunity to donate tickets to Condors games for youth groups or youth-oriented charities through the area. The Condors Floor Hockey Program was created by the CCF to help bring hockey to elementary schools in and around Bakersfield.
The Bakersfield Condors have received national recognition for their promotional events including Undie Sunday, Pet Appreciation Night, Mystery Youth Jersey Giveaway, Fan Appreciation Night, and Dignity Health Family Friday Nights.
In Condorstown family fun combines with first class hockey, complete with non-stop, fast-paced action, the fan-favorite fights, and the best part of any game — the goals!
Just another reason we love the Central Valley
The Bakersfield Condors are just another reason to love the Central Valley of California. Visit their website to find out about all-things “Condors,” including the team’s 2020-2021 schedule.