Photo of a large crowd at an Oakland Athletics game at Oakland Coliseum.

Image Credit: Brian Cantoni (CC BY 2.0)

The Oakland Athletics will host a free game for all fans on April 17th, 2018 vs. the Chicago White Sox. The game will celebrate the team’s 50th anniversary in Oakland after relocating from Kansas City. Oakland A’s season ticket holders will have their tickets uploaded to their accounts and will be refunded their money. There have already been more than 200,000 inquiries for tickets as of today and the event will be the first free game in Major League Baseball history.

For the first time in many years, the unsightly upper deck in the outfield (Mt. Davis) will be open for an Oakland Athletics game. Parking will also be complimentary as it always as for Tuesday games (unless the A’s are hosting teams like the San Francisco Giants or New York Yankees). Both the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago White Sox will be wearing throwback uniforms during the game.

The Oakland Athletics have been in the news a ton lately. They’ve been searching for a site for a new stadium for several years now. Now that the Laney College stadium project has fallen through, they’re interested in purchasing the property Oakland Coliseum sits on. They’re also adding a new party area to the outfield called “The Treehouse”. Last week, the Athletics drew fewer than 8,000 fans for a game vs. the Texas Rangers. The turnout was still better than the 974 fans that attended a White Sox – Tampa Bay Rays game at Guaranteed Rate Field. All of these signs clearly indicate that the Oakland Athletics are struggling to attract fans to Oakland Coliseum. For the last two seasons, the Oakland Athletics have finished 29th in Major League Baseball attendance behind only the Tampa Bay Rays.

If the city of Oakland and their fans don’t play their cards right, they will lose their only remaining professional sports team to another city. The Golden State Warriors are relocating to San Francisco and the Oakland Raiders are relocating to Las Vegas. Major League Baseball has already indicated that cities like Montreal, Portland and Las Vegas are attractive cities for Major League Baseball. All three cities have much more bustling economies than Oakland. The culprit for this season’s poor attendance could be the increase in the price of parking at Oakland Coliseum. Parking is now $30 per vehicle after being priced at $20 last season. Now fans will either attend games only on Tuesdays or take the BART to Oakland Coliseum which is not as safe for fans as it once was. Either way, the Oakland Athletics are losing money. Only time will tell if tomorrow’s free game ends up devaluing the Oakland Athletics experience in the long run. The organization has been selling their tickets on Groupon for a while now as well. The organization is also allowing fans to name their price for tickets in section 322 every Wednesday.


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