Deer District gates closed as 65,000 fans cheer on the Bucks in Game 6 of the NBA Finals

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There could be a coronation tonight in Milwaukee with the Bucks going for their second NBA title in the franchise's 53-year history. 65,000 people packed into Deer District for Game 6.

“We have waited our entire lives for this moment,” said Jake Seipel, 21, who drove from Eau Claire to watch the game in Deer District. “We are going to party accordingly.”

Drums, trumpets, music, and chants of Bucks in six greeted eager fans as they waited in line to enter the district. At 7:45, the newly configured Deer District with its 65,000 capacity looked close to full.

As of 8:50 p.m., Milwaukee police are no longer allowing entry into Deer District.

Mitch Morton, a 27-year-old who drove from Chicago, said: "I'll watch from here ... I'm a dreamer who wishes to see the Bucks win once in my lifetime."

Not everyone was so content.

At halftime near the King Drive and Highland entry a group of two or three dozen fans broke through the barricades and got into the plaza. Police stopped a few but some made it through.

Mounted police were then called in and some glass bottles were thrown. Fans could also be seen pushing up against a security fence.  

Inside the district, a sea of green jerseys with the occasional orange Phoenix Suns shirt covered the plaza. Fans were seen sporting buck antlers and gorilla costumes in the rowdy crowd.

Arnell Shaw, 55, is a life-long Milwaukee resident who has been a bucks fan for 47 years and is thrilled by the Bucks potentially winning their first title in 50 years. Shaw said he remembers seeing the Bucks win their last title on a black and white TV.

John Rupcich (center) of Madison, a Bucks season ticket holder, said he got his family and friends matching Ray Allen uniforms to wear for the playoffs.

Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. Fiserv Forum doors opened at 6 p.m. The Deer District plaza opened well before that.

In addition to viewing screens on the plaza and at the old Bradley Center site, the team has added another big screen in an area to the north across Juneau Avenue between Vel R. Phillips and Fifth Street.

Craig Morris brought his son Dylan, 16, up to the plaza from Racine to watch the game. “Never in a million years did I think that Milwaukee would make it here for a game six,” Craig Morris said. “You can’t experience this anywhere else.”

Maximillian Blawat came to Deer District with his brother Aaron Blawat. They’re both lifelong Bucks fans. “It’s uniting,” said Maximillian. “Sometimes we have issues but this is uniting. It doesn’t matter about politics. We’re all family tonight for the Bucks.”

Jason Bugnacki, 44, of Milwaukee, came to Deer District in a deer costume along with a sign that read “Bango’s Stunt Double.” He said the prospect of the bucks winning the championship tonight “means everything to me” especially since the team hasn’t won it in his lifetime. He said a win would probably bring him to tears.

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Christopher Kuhagen of Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report. 

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