The thousands of greenbacks fans packing the Deer District outside Fiserv Forum during the past few weeks have made one thing clear: Milwaukee, the town of Festivals, may have gained a replacement, early summer tradition. including two deep playoff runs, the Deer District has risen to national prominence, unlike nearly the other NBA playoff watch party. Sweeping camera shots of the packed plaza are often featured during national playoff broadcasts. “It’s a tremendous sight,” legendary TNT broadcaster Marv Albert said of the crowds in Game 3.
“As very much like we expected or hoped for this, I feel what we have seen this year is even beyond our wildest dreams,” said Dustin Godsey, Bucks Chief Marketing Officer. Godsey was with the team when the first arena plans were designed. The pedestrian plaza outside of what would become Fiserv Forum was meant to be a haunt, not limited solely to Bucks basketball games. “This development is not just an arena and a plaza, this is often a 3 million sq ft vision,” Bucks President Peter Feigin said in 2015. The plaza’s original capacity was roughly 8,000 fans.
But as interest within the Deer District intensified this season, the team added another space where the Bradley Center once stood, to accommodate up to twenty,000 people. Since the addition for the Eastern Conference Finals, even the additional space is fairly full. Godsey said other teams across the NBA are taking notice. The Bucks borrowed a number of the ideas from the Toronto Raptors’ “Jurassic Park,” a pedestrian viewing area outside of Scotiabank Arena, and decided to form the Deer District even bigger. “I’ve talked to a variety of my colleagues throughout the league, and they are blown away by it,” Godsey said.