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A’s Fans Petition To Remove Coliseum Tarps For Playoff Games

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O.co Coliseum, Oakland

A general view during the game between the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers at O.co Coliseum on April 30, 2011. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Oakland A’s have suddenly encountered a rare problem: there aren’t enough seats available at the team’s upcoming games.

After months with few sellout crowds, all the seats for Tuesday and Wednesday’s playoff home games have already been snatched up, according to the team’s website.

Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games may not even be played, because Oakland is playing a best-of-five series against the Detroit Tigers, with the first two games to be played Saturday and Sunday in Detroit.

But a group of Oakland fans have started an online petition asking team owner Lew Wolff to open up the third level of seating for the team’s playoff run.

Much of the stadium’s third level is covered in green tarps during baseball games. The stadium can hold more than 60,000 fans as a football stadium, but when set up for baseball with the tarps, it only holds about 35,000.

By opening the upper deck, as many as 20,000 more fans could attend the games.

Often this isn’t a problem, with the stadium rarely selling out for A’s games. However with the A’s clinching the American League West division, demand for Oakland baseball is suddenly high.

“Our hope is more A’s fans get to see the game,” said Doug Boxer, founder of Let’s Go Oakland, which started the online petition. “Maybe this will help convince them that there are people out there that will buy tickets.”

Boxer said that within a few hours of posting the petition to the group’s Facebook page, they had already gathered 2,500 signatures, and he said there are plans to distribute the petition to the group’s mailing list of over 20,000.

“We’re hoping we can generate at least 10,000 signatures in the next day,” Boxer said.

Boxer’s group is part of a larger effort to keep the A’s in Oakland, in response to Wolff’s recent attempts to move the team to San Jose.

The petition is posted at www.removethetarps.com.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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