The Milwaukee Bucks sold a team-record 10,000th season ticket Tuesday, 10 days before their home opener in Fiserv Forum, their new arena.
The previous record came 30 years ago; they sold 8,985 season tickets for the 1988-89 season, when the team opened the Bradley Center.
"This is such a major moment for the Bucks organization," said Jamie Morningstar, Bucks senior vice president of ticket sales and service. "There's an incredible buzz about the team and Fiserv Forum, and people from all over Wisconsin are excited to be part of it."
The Bucks have made a big business turnaround under the ownership of Wes Edens and Marc Lasry. When the two bought the team in May 2014 for a then-record $550 million, it ranked last in the league in season tickets at below 2,500 sold. Sources say the sale of 10,000 full-season tickets puts the Bucks at No. 11 in the league, their highest position ever.
The team hasn't made it past the first round of the playoffs since 2001, bowing out last year in Game 7 versus the Boston Celtics. But with one of the most dynamic players in the league in the "Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo and new coach Mike Budenholzer, optimism is high.
When the Bucks play their regular-season opener on Oct. 19 against the Indiana Pacers, all suites and lofts will have been sold out at prices significantly higher than the premium spaces in their previous home.
The Bucks raised season-ticket prices by 12 percent in each of the previous three seasons leading up to this one. Morningstar said that the blended average of the increase in season-ticket prices from last year to this year is 26 percent.
The team has revitalized the area around Fiserv Forum with a plaza and a beer garden.
The 10,000th season ticket was sold to Andrew Wagner, a 26-year-old from Milwaukee who works in the industrial lighting industry. Wagner said he has been a fan since the Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson days, but he felt the need to own two lower-level season tickets with the momentum the team had generated.