Prices soar for downtown hotels, NBA Finals Game 6 tickets

About 25,000 people gathered in the Deer District to watch the game on big screen televisions.

The NBA Finals Series has meant a big deal for many businesses in downtown Milwaukee, and now the prices of game tickets and hotel rooms are increasing for Tuesday’s Game 6 at the Fiserv Forum, according to listings online. .

Game 6 brings the series back to Milwaukee and gives the Bucks a chance to win their first NBA championship since 1971. It’s also a huge, sudden injection of demand for game tickets and hotel rooms.

The morning before Game 6 of the NBA Finals, standing tickets were on the market for over $ 1,100, upper-level seats at the Fiserv Forum started at around $ 1,500, and tickets for the Fiserv Forum started at around $ 1,500. Lower levels were around $ 2,500 at best, although many were even more expensive.

Few hotel rooms were still available in the city center. Those that were available were going for $ 400 or more per night.

“It’s like Mardi Gras in New Orleans,” Greg Hanis, hospitality industry analyst and president of New Berlin Hospitality Marketers International Inc., said when describing the demand for hotels in Milwaukee for Game 6 that is pushing up room rates.

According to VISIT Milwaukee, demand for hotels for the NBA Finals is comparable to the US Open in 2017 and the upcoming Ryder Cup in September.

One of the reasons fueling high hotel room rates was uncertainty earlier in the series about whether there would be a Game 6, said Nick Johnson, president of the Greater Milwaukee Hotel & Lodging Association.

The Bucks’ win in Game 5 also created the possibility for the team to win the series in Game 6, likely increasing the demand for tickets and hotel rooms even further.

“We’re seeing a lot of last-minute requests here for Game 6,” said Johnson, who is also regional director of operations for the Chicago-based company. First Hospitality Group Inc. His company operates the 127-room Hilton Garden Inn downtown, and more in Lake Geneva and Pleasant Prairie.

VISIT Milwaukee also pointed out that there is a decrease in the stock of available hotel rooms due to media bookings, team and league staff, sponsors and other groups. The rates in effect relate to hotel rooms which remain available.

Johnson said the Hilton Garden Inn was full for Tuesday night’s game. Hotels have enjoyed full occupancy for the previous two home games, although rates likely weren’t what they would have been if the series had taken place before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hotels will increase their levels of service and staff will prepare to answer questions about Milwaukee for residents outside.

“Hotels see themselves as the gateway to Milwaukee for guests traveling to the city… so all hotels when there is an event like this really try to make sure that guests feel welcome.” Johnson said.

Coverage of the NBA playoffs, especially The Finals series, put the national spotlight on Milwaukee. This offers a “fantastic opportunity” for the local hospitality and tourism industry, Hanis said.

Hanis, who lives in Florida, said news stations in his area showed footage of a crowded and bustling Fiserv Forum and Deer District, even though no local team are playing in the NBA Finals.

He compared the exposure to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, at least what could have been for Milwaukee before the pandemic reduced it to a largely virtual event. The Finals, however, show Milwaukee to domestic and international audiences through a non-political lens.

“It just shows Milwaukee in one of the best lights you can show it,” Hanis said.

Johnson said the show comes at a good time for Milwaukee. Its downtown convention center is embarking on a $ 420 million expansion.

“I think the impact will be visible in future events and conventions that now have Milwaukee in mind after seeing it highlighted in the final,” he said.

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