From the SF Chronicle’s Susan Slusser :

Over the past two days, the A’s have contacted a group of season-ticket holders to explain that they will no longer offer season-ticket plans in the third deck of the Coliseum.

That shouldn’t be much of a hardship, at least for the 2006 season: Current season-ticket holders may purchase seats in the second deck at the same price as their old third-deck plans.

“We’ve had a lot of complaints about the service up there and we’re trying to do some things to make the fan experience better,” said David Alioto, the A’s vice president of sales and marketing. “There are about 120 (season-ticket holders) up there and most are 20-game plans, so we’re not talking about a large number of people who are affected.”

What might impact large numbers of fans is this: The A’s might close down the third deck entirely for the season, including for dates in which it is typically busy, such as “Double-Play Wednesdays” (when third-level tickets are $2), and for games against the Giants, Yankees and Red Sox, which usually sell out.

If the A’s eliminate the third deck as an option, their capacity will shrink from 46,000-plus to 34,179. The team has drawn over 2 million each of the past five seasons, which would still be possible without the third deck.

The potential benefits to eliminating third-deck seating include better distribution of resources and, possibly, fewer large walk-up crowds, which were difficult to plan for and led to long lines at ticket booths, entrances and concessions.