OAKLAND -- The tarps that cover most of the third deck at the Coliseum won't be lifted for Tuesday night's game, or any game the A's might play in the American League Division Series, the team announced Monday.

What happens beyond that, if the A's advance, remains unclear.

A sellout crowd of 36,067 is expected Tuesday night for Game 3 -- the first playoff game in Oakland since 2006 -- but no more seats will be made available in the event of a Game 4 or Game 5.

"Our feeling is that we hate to open it up and have maybe 2,000-3,000 people sit people up there," said Ken Pries, the A's vice president of communications and broadcasting. "If half of it is empty, then we're getting jumped on for opening it up, and people are making derogatory comments about the team at that point."

Pries said the team will make a decision in the next few days whether to remove the tarps for the league championship series should the A's advance.

In an email to this newspaper later Monday, Pries said the team would remove the tarps if the A's reach the World Series. He said the team feels it is meeting "most of the demand" for the Detroit series. He also noted that playoff tickets have been on sale since the end of August, and that individual playoff tickets have been on sale since Sept. 17.

"Despite that fact, we still have plenty of tickets available for a potential Thursday game and for all of the ALCS and World Series games. In total we have nearly 50,000 potential playoff tickets still available for the division and ALCS games," Pries wrote in the email.


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He added: "It is also worth noting that in 2006, even during the ALCS games, we did not sell out the games even with the tarps on."

Much of the third deck has been tarped off since 2006 for A's games because of low attendance. But public pressure to remove the tarps began growing last week during the final series of the regular season against the Texas Rangers, which the A's swept to win the A.L. West title.

Doug Boxer, organizer of an A's fan group called Let's Go Oakland and a former Oakland planning commissioner, said 10,000 names have been collected on an online petition that asks A's ownership to sell more seats at the Coliseum.

"If you're looking for a greater home-field advantage," Boxer said, "doesn't it make sense to have 45,000-50,000 fans at the Coliseum instead of 36,000?"

As of Monday afternoon, every available seat for Game 3 had been sold. Some tickets remained available for Game 4, which will be played Wednesday if the A's, trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five series, stave off elimination Tuesday night. Game 5, if necessary, would be Thursday. Starting time for Game 4 would be 6:37 p.m. Starting time for a Game 5 has yet to be announced by Major League Baseball.

In any case, A's players were eagerly anticipating their first home game since last Wednesday's winner-take-all clincher against Texas.

"The crowd we had on Wednesday, the place was sold out, and the energy was unbelievable," A's reliever Sean Doolittle said. "If we can find a way to add to that, it would be an unbelievable home-field advantage."