Oakland Athletics Announce Free Admission for 2018 Home Game vs. White Sox

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2017

**  ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, MARCH 18-19 ** Workers affix a green tarp over upper deck seats at McAfee Coliseum Wednesday, March 15, 2006, in Oakland, Calif. By the time the Oakland Athletics open their season against the New York Yankees next month, the team will have strung a tarpaulin over 10,000 of the most unattractive upper-deck seats, reducing McAfee Coliseum to one of the smallest in pro baseball. Counterintuitive as it may sound, the A's, who have struggled with low attendance, hope the removal of the stadium's entire third deck will boost season ticket sales and generate renewed fan loyalty. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
BEN MARGOT/Associated Press

The Oakland Athletics will celebrate their 50th anniversary in Oakland Coliseum with a free game for fans.

The team announced the rare promotion via its Twitter account along with the schedule for the 2018 season:

On April 17 against the Chicago White Sox, which is 50 years to the day after they first played in the stadium following a move from Kansas City, the Athletics will offer a free admission game that is apparently one of the first of its kind.

As John Becker of the Mercury News reported, season tickets holders will likely get priority seating for the game, but details won't be announced until a later date.

The A's are completing a disappointing 2017 season, entering Tuesday with a 63-80 record and in last place in the American League West. Unsurprisingly, fans have stayed away from the ballpark.

According to Baseball Reference, the Coliseum's 18,257 fans per game ranks second-worst in the majors, ahead of only the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field's 15,094. It will mark the third year in a row the franchise ranked in the bottom five in baseball in attendance.

While next season's free admission promotion will celebrate the franchise's history in the city—the Athletics first played in Philadelphia (1901-54), then moved to K.C. (1955-67) before heading farther west—it will also be a nice way to get fans into the stadium.

With food and drink sales not likely to be included in the deal, the front office will probably still profit from the endeavor.