Oakland A’s to host free game in 2018

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Matt Olson /

To commemorate a notable anniversary for the franchise, the Oakland A’s are opening up the ballpark next April.

This has been another bad season for the Oakland A’s, with a 63-80 record heading into Tuesday’s action. Getting people in the seats at Oakland Coliseum late in a season, especially with the Raiders as a co-tenant at that point, is an ongoing challenge for a losing ream in a bad building.

The A’s moved from Kansas City to Oakland in time for the 1968 season, and they’ve of course called the East Bay Area home ever since with four World Series titles (1972-1974, 1989) in that time.

So next year will be the 50th anniversary of the A’s being in Oakland, and they’re doing something unique next April to commemorate the anniversary of their first game there.

The term “free game” surely only means free tickets for the 7:05 p.m. game April 17 against the Chicago White Sox, given out on a first-come, first-served basis until every seat is accounted for to the capacity of just over 47,100. Discounted concessions are also likely, and probably a given, but simply opening up the entire stadium free of charge is bad (or a least odd) business.

Promos for baseball games are generally things like bobbleheads, hats, other sponsored tokens and things that could even prove to be useful. A free ticket, in most major league cities, would surely be more valuable than anything else for fans that want to go to a game but generally can’t afford it.

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The idea of a free game inspires thoughts of looming chaos and fans fighting over a freebie. But I assume the A’s promotion staff has thought it through and will have things impeccably organized. Some priority (or right of first refusal) for the free game tickets should be given to season ticket holders, with the rest opened up to general admission with a specific spot to get the tickets.