As March Madness wraps up, Milwaukee to host tournament again at Fiserv Forum in 2025

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - City officials are calling it a successful weekend in Milwaukee as Fiserv Forum hosted the first two rounds of the men's NCAA basketball tournament.

The last time the city held the tournament was 2017 at the Bradley Center. This was the first time it was at Fiserv Forum.

"Our bar was filled with people all wearing different gear and getup, and they were all just talking to each other like they've been friends for years," Danielle Cooper, bar manager at the Wicked Hop, said.

The tournament brought in more than $6.5 million and more than 25,000 fans over the weekend. That meant big business for bars like The Wicked Hop in the Third Ward.

"We had people that would sit at the bar all day long. Friday, we had a group that sat at the bar for the entire day. From open at 11 to 5 or 6 o'clock at night," Cooper said.

"It's just great to have that energy throughout the entire city," Marissa Werner said.

Marissa Werner is the director of SPORTS Milwaukee. She said Milwaukee is already getting ready to host the first two rounds of the tournament again.

"There is a bid process though the NCAA and we will actually be hosting in 2025," she said.

She said the city is looking at other opportunities, too.

"Maybe looking at the women's side as well and looking at an opportunity for their Final Four," Werner said. "Marquette University is an amazing partner, they really took the lead on the bid, and we'll just continue to support all their efforts."

Potentially hosting the Sweet 16 in the future is also not off the table.

"We could host a Sweet 16. We want to look at what's the largest economic impact any part of it can make. With a Sweet 16, you're only hosting four teams and with first and second rounds, you're hosting eight teams. So that means longer hotel stays,' Werner said.

As for the next big sporting event, Werner said the city is hosting the USA Triathlon National Championships this summer. That is expected to bring in more than six-thousand athletes from all over the world.

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