In perhaps one of the most anticipated regular season basketball games in recent memory, the Milwaukee Bucks pulled away from the Philadelphia 76ers, 91-83, in the first sellout of a home opener since the Chicago Bulls visited in 2007 Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
It was the first home game for new owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan, and the game was an event from the moment the doors opened to 18,717 fans â€“ the first sellout of any kind since March 15, 2013.
Live music greeted fans in the atrium, as did stacks of balloons on all four levels. New, team-colored draping covered some of the steel rails around the lower bowl. The team shop was remodeled. A tailgate area was opened up on the 400 level (more on that soon).
Then, after Bango swung down from the rafters to start the on court festivities, the lights were cut, save for a spotlight on the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as it performed "O Fortuna" at halfcourt â€¦
Introductory videos called for a new era of Bucks basketball, which was reiterated by the ownership trio, who welcomed the fans with hopes for a new arena and another NBA championship.
Comedian Frank Caliendo, a Waukesha native, performed throughout halftime (and filmed skits played during breaks in the action). Bands played in the atrium.
Of course, this was by design.
"We wanted to start the season off by creating a big event and creating that big event feel," Bucks senior vice president and chief revenue officer Ted Loehrke said. "Thatâ€™s why a big opening with the symphony and all the great pageantry around that. A great half time act with a big name and a local name like Frank Caliendo.
"So we really did want to bring that big even feel back to a Bucks game and create momentum for the rest of the season, because we are strong believers that the more people see to this team and the more people experience the events here the more theyâ€™re going to want to see and the more theyâ€™re going to want to be here."Read more...