A's will host a game free to all fans in 2018

Promotion coincides on date of Coliseum's 50th anniversary

A's will host a game free to all fans in 2018

The 2018 regular-season schedule, released by Major League Baseball on Tuesday, features a free A's game for all fans at the Coliseum.

A's 2018 schedule

The event, which is thought to be the first of its kind on a Major League stage, is scheduled for April 17 with the White Sox in town -- exactly 50 years after the A's inaugural game at the Coliseum.

"We were really just looking to do something special on the actual anniversary date, and it's really a gift to the community, a gift to our fan base to say thank you for 50 amazing years," A's COO Chris Giles said. "We're really excited. It'll be a fun day."

Season-ticket holders are guaranteed admission, as are fans who attended the first A's game at the Coliseum. Online registration for the remaining tickets will begin in January, by which point the A's expect to have all logistics in order.

"We've some work to do to try to figure out how we're going to ensure that the folks who go online and reserve tickets actually show up, and we're not reserving a bunch of space for folks that don't show up, how we ensure that folks aren't selling the tickets," Giles said. "We've got some preliminary plans in those areas now and we're continuing to vet them before we roll it out."

The team's season-long celebration of the 50th anniversary begins with an Opening Day matinee against the Angels on March 29, marking just the second time in the past 41 years and first since 1994 the A's will play under the sun for their home opener.

"I like it," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Opening Day should be Opening Day I think. Day baseball on the first day of the season is pretty cool."

The A's have also staged an "Opening Night" game the next day, with plans to honor the 50 greatest A's players in Oakland history prior to their 7:05 p.m. PT game.

The first homestand features a pair of four-game sets with the Angels and Rangers, before the A's set out for their first road trip of the season, staying on the West Coast with stops in Anaheim, Los Angeles and Seattle -- city pairings that actually make sense for these A's, who, like the Mariners, annually travel the most miles among all teams.

The A's will also travel to Colorado, San Diego and San Francisco as part of Interleague Play with the National League West; at home, they will host the Dodgers, Giants, D-backs and Padres.

The annual Bay Bridge Series will bookend the All-Stark break, with the A's crossing the bridge for three games in San Francisco from July 13-15 to close out the first half, before the Giants make the trek east for three contests at the Coliseum from July 20-22.

The A's have seven planned fireworks shows: May 25, June 15, July 3, July 20, Aug. 4, Sept. 1 and Sept. 22. The A's will also be home for Memorial Day, Father's Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.