'Great exposure for Milwaukee': Bucks prepare for first home game of NBA Finals
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee will be in the national spotlight this weekend as the Bucks host Game 3 of the NBA finals.
The team, police and businesses are all hard at work preparing for national broadcasters and tens of thousands of people.
"We've been preparing for this all season, and to be able to have the crowds and have the team back at home -- we're all very excited and ready to get it going," said Katelyn Griggs, vice president of event operations for the Milwaukee Bucks. "We think this is great exposure for Milwaukee."
The Bucks have been working with the NBA on a lot of logistics for the game. ESPN will be set up in Section 101.
Fans will see NBA Finals banners up on the Plaza outside Fiserv Forum. The team is happy to welcome the players back to their home city.
"Being in your hometown, being in your home arena, I think definitely adds something," Griggs said.
Sgt. Cory Strey said the Milwaukee Police Department is expecting a larger turnout for the home game compared to the two away games. Police are also expecting heavy traffic to arrive earlier than the two away games.
"A lot of them will go to the restaurants and stuff prior get their parking and walk around the area, so we'll just be set up early," Strey said.
Strey said fans can expect to see road closures and officers directing traffic, as well as potentially mounted patrol units and officers on bikes and motorcycles.
Business leaders want the huge crowds to spend money not just in the Deer District but in the surrounding neighborhoods, as well.
"We have about 370 businesses here in the Near West Side," said Keith Stanley, executive director of the Near West Side Partners. "We know they will be a bump and increase in sales for many of our businesses because downtown can't hold it all and we're excited about that."
Fans hope the Bucks' homecoming will reinvigorate the team after the two losses in the Games 1 and 2.
"I think it's great that they're back home. Hopefully, they will pull it off and bring home a win on Sunday," said Bucks fan Shawn Jensen. "Everybody's watching it, and we're making history."