Fiserv Plaza emerging as entertainment force
Bucks playoff viewing parties a draw to Deer District

By Catherine Jozwik - Special to TimeOut

May 2, 2019

 Fans gather at Fiserv Plaza for a Bucks watch party during the team's 2019 spring playoff run. Even when the Bucks aren’t in Milwaukee, the viewing party goes on. The next games are Friday, Monday and Wednesday.
Gary Dineen

From a green-dyed Milwaukee River to fans from all over the state and country crowding around Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee is riding the wave of the Bucks’ successful season — and hoping the team wins the championship trophy.

Although the Bucks have earned a spot in the playoffs for a third consecutive year, the team had not won in the first round since 2001 until this year. Now, with star players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon, the Bucks are a force to be reckoned with.

“It’s been incredible. It’s been great to see how the community has been rallying around the playoff run,” said Dustin Godsey, Milwaukee Bucks chief marketing officer. He noted that the tickets have sold out for Bucks playoff games. The team is scheduled to play the Boston Celtics in the second round 7 p.m. Friday and Monday, and Wednesday with time to be determined.

Fiserv Plaza has plenty of outdoor activities for Bucks fans planned, including fan giveaways, beanbag games, and a half-court basketball court. Fans can enjoy both home and away games on both a 40-foot and the Beer Garden’s outdoor televisions. Vendors will sell beer, hot dogs and brats, and a DJ will provide music. Activities will begin two hours before the start of each playoff game.

Several local businesses are offering freebies to Bucks fans. People can stop by select Pick ’n Save stores to get a complimentary yard sign. Fans can download a limited 20% coupon for Kohl’s Department Store merchandise at www.kohls.com or pick up a coupon at any Kohl’s location. A number of Kohl’s locations are offering a free Bucks window cling. For a complete list of participating stores, visit h t t p s : / / w w w . n b a . com/bucks/2019-bucks-playoffgiveaway- items. Supplies are limited.

Bucks fans can also visit www.shopbucks.com to purchase special playoff clothing and merchandise. During the playoffs only, those who spend $75 or more will receive a free Bucks car flag; those who spend $50, a Bucks car decal. Throughout the playoffs, The Bucks Pro Shop at Fiserv will maintain extended hours.

Richard Lorbach, a Waukesha resident and owner of Drink Wisconsibly Pub in Milwaukee, which opened at 320 W. Highland Ave. at the end of March, said food and drink sales have been booming since the playoffs started. The pub recently added a “To Go” window for beer and drinks, which customers can then take with them to Fiserv Plaza.

“On game days, we’ve had lines out the door,” Lorbach said.

Lorbach said Fiserv Forum has attracted thousands of people for Bucks home and away games. Two of those fans are St. Francis resident Rob Weber and his son, Noah, who attended one of the first playoff games in which the Bucks played against the Detroit Pistons. The two had the opportunity to meet Bucks President Peter Feigin.

“You could just see how happy and confident he feels about this team. It just feels like it’s their year,” Weber said.

Lorbach said that the “Fear the Deer” fever is contagious.

“It’s an exciting time to be downtown. The fans, and the city, are behind this team like nothing I’ve seen before. Everyone wants to be a part of it,” he added.

For more information on the Bucks playoff series and special activities, visit www.bucks.com/playoffs.