The A's announced details for one of the more unique promotions in the major leagues this upcoming season.
Their April 17 game against the Chicago White Sox at the Coliseum - played on the 50th anniversary of their first game in Oakland - will be completely free admission for fans. They originally unveiled the idea back in September. On Wednesday, they announced fans can sign up for tickets Jan. 10 starting at 8 a.m. at athletics.com/50.
Current season ticket holders don't need to sign up. Tickets for that game will automatically be loaded on to their accounts.
"We are extremely excited to offer this gift to the city as we celebrate 50 years in Oakland," A's president Dave Kaval said in a club statement. "The entire 2018 season will be a celebration of the A's rich history, and offering the first free MLB game is another unique way for us to celebrate our team and wonderful fans."
According to an A's spokesperson, Major League Baseball has no other record of a free-admission game being held, aside from some instances of rainouts and makeup games. And the A's caught some good fortune with the schedule. The White Sox wouldn't be a big draw as a visiting team, particularly on a Tuesday night, which is when this anniversary game falls. So the A's at least have a chance to generate some buzz on what would otherwise be a humdrum date on their home schedule.
Some other highlights worth noting from the A's 2018 schedule:
Their March 29 season opener against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels will be their first home opener played in the afternoon since 1994. First pitch will be at 1:05.
This year's Bay Bridge Series against the Giants, rather than be played as a four-game series, will be a six-game set that sandwiches the All-Star break. Three games will take place at AT&T Park on July 13-15, then the A's will host three July 20-22.