When the Milwaukee Bucks host the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, they have a chance to clinch the franchise’s second NBA title and its first in 50 years. The excitement in Milwaukee is high but probably not as high as the ticket prices.
As of July 19, any ticket for the Fiserv Forum was going for at least $1,000. That now looks cheap when compared with the prices currently available.
What might be surprising at first glance is the true significance of the ticket prices for Game 6.
A Wisconsin-based team hasn’t won a title at home in more than 50 years
The Green Bay Packers have won 13 championships. Four of those have come in the Super Bowl era, which began in the 1966 season. The other nine were NFL titles, and three of those were before the advent of the playoffs.
Before the 1975 NFL playoffs, there was no seeding system. Instead, home-field advantage was awarded on a rotating basis by division. Only three of the Packers’ six playoff-era championship wins came at home.
Green Bay beat the New York Giants at Wisconsin State Fair Park in suburban Milwaukee to win the 1939 NFL championship. In 1961, the Packers again topped the Giants, this time at New City Stadium (now known as Lambeau Field). The last time Green Bay won a championship at home came on Jan. 2, 1966, when they beat the Cleveland Browns for the 1965 NFL title.
Tickets for the game between the Browns and Packers sold for between $10 and $12. Adjusted for inflation, that would be between $85 and $102. Not cheap, exactly, but not dropping a grand either.
But those three championships are the only ones won in Wisconsin by a professional franchise based in the state.
Green Bay’s Super Bowl titles were all at neutral sites because, while the NFL staged an outdoor Super Bowl in the cold weather in February 2014, it was in New Jersey, not the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. In other words, the league is willing to push that issue only so far.
The Milwaukee Bucks hosting Game 6 of the NBA Finals is the most expensive ticket in Wisconsin history
As of 2:30 p.m. Eastern on July 20, there were no seats left in the Fiserv Forum for Game 6, per StubHub. All that remains is standing room. And the best you’ll do if you want to get in the building is a standing-room ticket in Section 220, in one of the upper-level corners of the arena, is a pair of tickets in Row 9 for $1,940 apiece. That’s right, almost two large just for a place to stand.
Of course, if you don’t want to rely on the scoreboard to watch the action, it’ll cost a bit more. The lowest-priced standing-room ticket in the lower bowl of the arena is Row 33 of the lower-baseline section 112. Those are going for $2,068 apiece. The lower risers behind each basket have standing spots for $3,092.
There are still some courtside locations left as of this writing – two of them to be exact – for the not exactly reduced-for-quick-sale price of $16,741 each. Mike Holzberg, owner of Connections Ticket Services in Milwaukee, told the Milwaukee Business Journal these prices were unprecedented.
“This is absolutely far and away the most expensive ticket we’ve ever seen in the state of Wisconsin.”Mike Holzberg of Connections Ticket Services
It’s kind of a big deal, in large part due to the rarity for a Wisconsin team to clinch a title at home.
The Milwaukee Bucks won their only other title on the road
In 1974, the Milwaukee Bucks had a chance to clinch the NBA title at home. But the Boston Celtics pulled away in the fourth quarter at the old MECCA Arena in Milwaukee for a 102–87 victory.
When the Bucks won it all in 1971, they were huge favorites over the Baltimore Bullets. Milwaukee had the NBA’s best record at 66–16, while Baltimore was a 42–40 team that won the woeful Central Division. The Bullets reached the Finals by shocking the defending champion New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
As one might surmise, given the gulf between the two teams, the Bucks cruised to the championship. The closest game was an eight-point victory in Game 3, and Milwaukee closed out the sweep with a 118–106 win in Game 4 at the Baltimore Civic Center.
Wisconsin’s only other pro championship came in Major League Baseball, but it predates the Milwaukee Brewers. Instead, the Milwaukee Braves clinched the World Series championship by beating the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1957 World Series at Yankee Stadium.
Milwaukee Bucks fans wanting a chance to be a part of history can still do so. But it’s going to cost you.