Calif. minor hockey team's promotion pokes fun at opposing city's bankruptcy

Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. - A hockey game promotion poking fun at America's largest bankrupt city has caused a tiff between fans and newspaper columnists in California's Central Valley.

The Condors, a Bakersfield minor league hockey team, advertised its game against Stockton Thunder on Dec. 27 as "Our City Isn't Bankrupt Night."

The team promises to give away phoney million-dollar bills and brand new Rolls Royce automobiles.

Stockton residents weren't amused. The river port city filed for bankruptcy protection in June, pushed over the brink by high foreclosure rates, expensive investments and overly generous retiree benefits.

Thunder officials, Stockton columnists and fans tore at their opponent for making fun of Stockton residents' financial woes.

Condors' officials have since apologized and changed the promo to "Boomtown Bakersfield night." Fake money and car giveaways are still on.

The Condors are no strangers to promotional stunts, recently announcing that they offered Canadian pop star Justin Bieber a tryout contract.

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