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:
Oakland A’s 🌳🐘⚾️ @Athletics
Dance through the 50th anniversary schedule! Check out the Oakland A’s 2018 schedule, which includes a free game. https://t.co/2YxCYfvjxQ https://t.co/yUPM11Vhzi
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 further 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 likely still profit from the endeavor.