The phrase "Bucks in 7" meant something more to the hospitality industry after Saturday night. The seas of crowds were estimated to generate seven figures in that night alone.
According to Visit Milwaukee, in pre-pandemic times, a single playoff game at the Fiserv Forum brought in more than 3 million dollars to downtown revenue including 2,500 hotel rooms booked.
Saturday night's extraordinary crowd brought thousands of fans to the Deer District. Justin Green, Vice President of the Bucks Hospitality, believes we are experiencing that "pre-pandemic type" crowd right now. "We believe we are seeing that impact again not just in the deer district but the surrounding businesses that had lines going out the door all weekend," said Green.
"It's a little bit of shock. Obviously, we hope for great business, I don't know if we expected it at quite this level." Green saw record numbers at the Mecca beer garden when it came to sales. "The beer garden specifically had numbers that are actually higher than what we had pre-pandemic which is fantastic."
Just around the corner from the stadium, Aloft Downtown Milwaukee. The hotel is currently experiencing a drastic spike in bookings. "Our occupancy on a playoff night in town is sold out easily, a week ahead of time no doubt, and even the away games we're seeing 80-90% occupancy," said Kristine Murphy a desk associate and manager at Aloft.
The playoff games, coupled with limited COVID restrictions are helping fill in the cracks left behind from the lockdown. "Our recovery has been fantastic we're 75% + back to where we needed to be to try to crawl back to a net 0," said Green.
Murphy has seen the fandom flow through the hotel and has been astounded to see how many travel in to watch home and away games.
"There are so many people across the country who love our team and they love our city like we're in it and in this NBA phenomenon of a moment. Our most common folks are from Chicago because it’s the closest but we had people from all over the country here to see these playoff games and it was so amazing to get to talk to all of these different people and know that the Bucks fan base is so broad."
Milwaukee is guaranteed at least two more home games.