MILWAUKEE — For the first time since 2019, the Deer District welcomed back fans to cheer on the Bucks in the playoffs. However, the atmosphere still isn't back to its pre-pandemic level.
Some COVID-19 restriction remain in place at the Deer District, including a reduced capacity. Right now the capacity is just 3,500 fans compared to the normal capacity of 18,000. Only ticket-holders are allowed before the game, however the public is welcome after tip-off. Masks are required and social distancing is encouraged.
But, fans are happy to be back regardless.
"After the tough year that everyone's had, it's a nice time to be all together and have something to be happy about," said Bucks fan Naomi Morrison. She traveled from Florida to cheer on her hometown team in the playoffs.
This latest step towards a return to normal is also a big boosts for restaurants in the district that missed out on the business from last season.
"We made it, we made it through," said Uncle Buck's General Manager Lawrence Starks. "We Welcome it with open arms. We obviously want people to be safe, but we also want just everything to get back to normal."
Ben Sadek, the host at Loaded Slate, says it's great to see the bar filled with Bucks fans again.
"I think people are ready to get back to normal, ready to have fun, ready for live music, ready for Fiserv to open up fully," Sadek said.
Of course getting to this day didn't come without some hardships for the bar.
"Very challenging, very challenging," Sadek said of the past year. "But you know we've got a great staff and everyone hung in there, and it's just really great that we're about to get back to normal."