'You want to come be part of this': Bucks hold indoor watch party for Game 1 of NBA Finals
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- For Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks created a new way for fans to watch the game while the teams are away: an indoor watch party inside Fiserv Forum.
"I've seen other places do it, other stadiums do it so it's so cool that Milwaukee gets to do this at its new stadium," said fan, Devon Spohm.
Bucks fans say they feel like they were at the game on Tuesday during the Deer District's first indoor watch party at Fiserv Forum. Fans were cheering and dancing as if the Bucks were at home, and say it's nice to all be together.
"I feel like the game is actually here," said Elijah Leonard, a Bucks fan. "I watch a lot of basketball so it's like a real NBA game feel, but it's going to be even better when they come here for game three-- then we'll be really cheering them on."
"We say it all the time: It's all over the board. It's history in the making. We're making that happen right now. And you want to come be part of this," said Justin Green, vice president of hospitality for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks say a total of 9,000 fans attended the indoor watch party. The indoor watch party had a capacity of 10,000 and fans could buy a ticket for $10. The Bucks plan to have indoor watch parties for Games 1 and 2 and the potential Games 5 and 7. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation. Gates opened an hour before tip-off.
"If you haven't come out or you haven't wanted to stand outside in the Deer District just because of the heat or whatever it may be with your kids, this is an opportunity to come in feel that same energy," Green said.
"We've lowered the ball to accommodate for better sightlines for the folks in the lower bowl area, so they won't be leaving with sore necks, staring up. They'll actually be more of an eye-level," said Dennis Williams, senior vice president of operations for Fiserv Forum.
The indoor watch party had live entertainment, concessions and retail. Fans watched the game on the big screen from air-conditioned seats.
"I've never been here before so it's a great time to experience the atmosphere without so much hustle and bustle," said a Bucks fan.
"Just to experience like this new stadium and the environment is awesome," another Bucks fan said.
Some fans feeling confident Tuesday night for a win after hearing Giannis was back in the game, after missing the last two.
"It's an automatic victory," said fan, Angelo Alford during the game.
"That's gonna help us a lot, that's awesome," said another fan, Matthew Woyak.
While other fans say Giannis should have taken the night off.
"We need to save him for those really important games like four-five-six," said Bucks fan, Diana Seegert
Fans like the Arnstein family told CBS 58 watching the games together has been so exciting.
"I was born in 1974, so I've been waiting 47 years for the finals for the Bucks to be in there, so we're excited," said David Arnstein.
"I just like to watch them play," said his daughter, Natalie Arnstein.
"It was awesome to just like watch them win, and I think they're going to win the finals," said his son, Joey Arnstein.