MILWAUKEE — Fans will be back at Fiserv Forum in an increased capacity as the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of the playoff series on Thursday.
Currently, the Bucks trail the Nets 2-0 in the series, falling 125-86 in Game 2. Thursday's game will be the first time fans will be allowed at Fiserv in nearly full capacity since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett credited vaccinations for playing a major part in getting COVID cases down.
"What I'm most excited about by far is seeing the dropping positivity rates for COVID-19. The last numbers I saw were below 2 percent. That is incredible progress," Barrett said.
Capacity at the stadium was limited to 9,100 fans, but now the capacity will be just over 16,000 fans - the stadium's current full capacity due to playoff courtside configuration.
Capacity limits on the plaza at Fiserv Forum and other areas within Deer District will also be removed for the remainder of the postseason, according to the Bucks.
Inside Fiserv Forum, fans will not have to sit in pods or staggered patterns. Facemasks are still required unless someone is actively eating or drinking.
Fans and workers in the area told TMJ4 News they felt comfortable with the changes.
"I've been vaccinated for over three months now. I think a lot of people are following the same footsteps," said Enrique Perez, a Bucks fan who also works near Fiserv Forum.
"I think as long as everyone safe and vaccinated or wearing the masks, I think it's awesome. Cases are down so I think that's a good sign," said fan Becca Ranous.
Dr. Ben Weston with the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee County Emergency Management said people who are fully vaccinated can judge their own risk tolerance when going to events like the Bucks game.
However, he offered a different message for people who are not vaccinated.
"For people who aren't vaccinated, I think you'd probably want to be more hesitant of going into a group environment, specifically the indoor group environments. The answer there is, quite simply, get vaccinated," Dr. Weston said.
The Ticketmaster website showed hundreds of tickets were still available for Game 3 before 5 p.m. A spokesperson for the Bucks said they anticipate the game to sell out.
The Brewers and American Family Field previously announced they will return to full capacity starting June 25.