MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks returned to Fiserv Forum for Game 3 of their best-of-seven series against the Brooklyn Nets. And for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 16,000 people filed into the stadium.
In accordance with Milwaukee Health Department guidelines, the Bucks increased capacity to 16,500 fans inside for the remainder of the playoffs. Previously, Fiserv Forum had been approved to host 9,100 fans for the playoffs.
Fiserv Forum’s full capacity is considered to be 16,500 due to the change in courtside configuration that has been put in place during the playoffs.
As part of the expanded capacity, seating will no longer be in pods or staggered in the arena bowl. However, fans will be still be required to wear face masks while inside except when actively eating or drinking.
Fans Rodney and Najee Monroe drove all the way from Orlando to see a Bucks playoff game in person.
"I always wanted to see a playoff game, so this is my first playoff game," Rodney Monroe said.
"It's a little bit of an all-star game, a little bit, you got a lot of stars," said Najee Monroe.
The Monroes hoped to bring the energy inside as thousands planned to do the same outside in the plaza. Fans had to show up hours early to grab a front-row seat among the crowd.
"This is great, especially when you can't go up in there because tickets are sold out. This is the best place to be outside, right in front of the screen," said fan Duanne Cunningham.
The Deer District and arena were back to full capacity thanks to vaccinations. The health department hosted a vaccine clinic before the game.
"I was here. I'm a little bit of a procrastinator when it comes to making doctor's appointments, so it was just very simple to walk through the gate and walk right over here," fan Rick Davy said.
Fans plan to keep showing up – win or lose.
"Me and my son, we were saying, even if we lose, we got to make a lot of noise. So we're going to be cheering them on all the way," said Rodney Monroe.