Fans gather at Fiserv Forum to watch first NHL game in nearly 3 decades

NOW: Fans gather at Fiserv Forum to watch first NHL game in nearly 3 decades

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The energy outside of Fiserv Forum on Sunday, Oct. 2 was electric, as thousands of hockey fans crowded into the arena for the first NHL game in Milwaukee in nearly three decades.

People came from not only Wisconsin but Chicago, Minnesota and everywhere in between to root for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild.

Chris Chelios, an ambassador for the Blackhawks, said he wasn’t surprised by the turnout.

“Wisconsin’s been a great state for sports,” Chelios said. “It’s great that they’re showing their support to come watch the Blackhawks play the Wild.”

All of the fans that CBS 58’s Ellie Nakamoto-White spoke with outside in the entertainment district said they were “excited” for the match.

“We’ve been to three outdoor hockey games. If there’s a Hawks game, we’re there,” said Cedarburg resident Kyle Ross.

Peter, a Milwaukee resident, said this is “the first NHL game” he’s been to.

“It’s neat to see them up here,” Peter said.

Luke, another Milwaukee resident, agreed, adding, "It’s an incredible opportunity to go see one of our favorite teams play in our backyard.”

But the resounding message from fans was that Milwaukee needs its own professional team.

It’s been thirty years and it’s well deserved that we get one back and I hope this is a show to the NHL that we can get an NHL team in Wisconsin and make it do well and have a wonderful turnout like this,” Luke said.

“My son and I go to Admirals games all the time and we would absolutely love to have an NHL team here so I think for myself and for the city this would be really, really great,” said Alyssa Blom of Milwaukee.

Steve Bicek, another Cedarburg resident, said a pro team “needs to happen.”

“The state that’s hungry for hockey, we need more hockey,” Bicek said.

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