Bucks fans encouraged to show up early, practice patience ahead of Friday's game

MILWAUKEE -- The further the Bucks advance in the NBA playoffs, the bigger the crowds in and around the Fiserv Forum become.  For fans preparing to pack the Deer District on Friday, May 17, Bucks officials are also encouraging you to pack your patience.

"Safety is really the name of the game for all of this," said Dustin Godsey, Chief Marketing Officer for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Godsey says between 8,000 and 10,000 people descended on the plaza for game one of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, May 15. A similar herd is expected for game two.

"These crowds gathering, and what the atmosphere looked like -- we think it's going to continue to build as we go through," said Godsey.

Due to the high volume of fans after Wednesday's game, Bucks officials say they temporarily shut down their escalators and main stairwells inside Fiserv Forum. Instead, they steered people away from the Plaza and out the side exits.

"We had staff at all the doors and staircases making sure people knew the quickest and safest way to get out of the building," said Godsey.

Godsey says a crew will be keeping a close eye on the traffic flow Friday.

Dustin Godsey

"We'll be in the control room, kind of looking at the camera,  seeing where the crowd flows are -- and we'll control exits as necessary," said Godsey.

Additionally, the Milwaukee Police Department says extra motorcycle officers will be on-hand downtown to help. As a general reminder, pack light and arrive early.

"The earlier you can get here, the better experience you're going to have," said Michael Belot, Bucks Ventures and Development Senior Vice President.

The area will be even more congested because at 6 p.m., MATC's graduation ceremony is taking place at the UWM Panther Arena. Fans are encouraged to factor this into their travel and parking plans.