‘We want to make history’: Fans prepare for Game 6 as Bucks fever spills over into Madison

MADISON, Wis. – The Milwaukee Bucks are on the verge of making history, one win away from an NBA championship title.

Game 6 tips off at 8 p.m. Tickets are costly, with the cheapest running more than $1,000 on ticket websites as of Monday afternoon. With so much interest in the big game, the Deer District outside the Fiserv Forum is expanding from a capacity of about 20,000 to 65,000.

The excitement isn’t limited to Milwaukee – Madison fans are feeling it, too.

“I’ve always followed them,” Madison area resident Collin Whelan said. “Now, I’m even more excited that they’re in the finals. I’m super excited.”

“We have home court advantage, energy from the last wins,” Whelan’s friend Katelyn Gamache said. “So I think we’re going to kill it.”

With such a huge opportunity in front of the Bucks, fans are seizing the day, too. Gamache, Whelan and friends are headed to the Deer District Tuesday.

“We’re excited to go to Milwaukee to be with the vibe and energy there,” Gamache said. “I bought hotel rooms spur of the moment after the last game. I have to work the next day. I don’t care. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I could tell my kids about this, and I don’t even have kids yet.”

Before their trip, they had to grab some new gear, and they’re not alone. Bucks items at Dick’s Sporting Goods are going fast. Select Dick’s Sporting Goods locations, including those at East and West Towne Malls, will be open late Tuesday into Wednesday morning if the Bucks win to sell commemorative merchandise, according to the retail company.

For those not heading to Milwaukee, there are opportunities to gather and watch the game in Madison.

That includes at Breese Stevens Field, where Forward Madison is holding a basketball watch party following the soccer team’s international friendly match, which begins at 7 p.m. The big screen for the Bucks game will be brought out immediately after that, starting about 9 p.m. Both soccer game ticket holders and community members are invited to watch the game for free from the grandstand or on the stadium field.

“For the first time in a long time, there’s quite a buzz around sports in Wisconsin,” said Evan Warwick, director of digital content with Forward Madison. “I’m excited to go from soccer to basketball, combine two passionate fan bases in one space and hopefully see a win tomorrow night.”

The Majestic Theatre is inviting fans for a watch party, as well, showing the game on a big screen. Doors open at 7 p.m. for anyone 21 and older, and FPC Live Director of Events Lauren Toler suggests people get there early, because they expect to reach capacity.

“You cannot deny the excitement around the Bucks now,” Toler said. “We had a watch party here last Saturday, and it was absolutely electric. We are excited to see them go all the way.”

So are the rest of Bucks fans, who are grabbing the day by the horns – or perhaps the antlers.

“This could be an opportunity of the lifetime,” Gamache said. “I’m totally aware of that, and we want to make history.”