MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Bucks’ road to the NBA Finals begins on Saturday, May 21.
The 1 p.m. tipoff marks the Bucks’ first playoff game at Fiserv Forum in two years.
The goal is for the Deer District to look more like 2019 than it does 2020, but with security protocols still in place.
The team set up a large screen for thousands of fans to watch the game away from home. Indoors, Fiserv Forum will be at 50% capacity.
All the people who come downtown on Saturday are good for business. At Buck Bradley, after months of waiting for the fans to return, the servers are back to work.
“Without events here, the fixed costs of this place are just immense. It was not doable. We were losing almost $ 20,000 a month trying to stay open,” said owner Wally Paget.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Receive late-breaking alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android.
Paget has decided to keep the doors closed until the Fiserv Forum starts letting people in. It reopened earlier in May to prepare for the playoffs.
“People are coming back to the neighborhood. Even though they can’t get into the game, they want to be in the mood. I think it’s going to increase exponentially when it hits 50% because 8,000-9,000 people , it’s really critical mass, ”Paget said.
Paget is hoping for a long playoff streak like the team did in 2019; the economic boost is essential.
“Incredibly important, especially after the year we just had,” said Paget. “Being here for 26 years, not counting the bubble year, which we haven’t seen anything about, the Bucks have only come out of the first round twice in 26 years.”
Bucks fan Jordyn Grand remembers what it was like in 2019 – happy to be back at a restaurant before graduation, hoping the Bucks can bring some more reason to celebrate.
“I mean it was bouncing around,” Grand said. “I really hope they’re okay. I mean coming back would be huge.”
Milwaukee‘s COVID-19 Public Health Order is still in effect until June 1. Fans heading to the Deer District will need to bring their masks and be aware that restaurants still operate under certain restrictions.