The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Wisconsin teams bring better business

While basketball is king at Marquette, sports fans around campus have also noticed that some of Wisconsin’s other major teams are on the rise.

The Brewers are on the verge of clinching the Central Division of the National League, the University of Wisconsin is poised to return to a high profile bowl game and the Green Bay Packers are looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

The triumvirate of successful teams has created a boom for local business across Milwaukee.

The Brewers have especially stirred up business in the areas surrounding Miller Park, located on the west side of the city. The team’s popularity and winning record have created a need for parking, entertainment, and food and drink for the more than three million people who bought tickets to Brewers games this year.

Marty Schwader, manager of Brewskis Sports Bar, at 306 N. 76th St., estimated the Brewers’ run this year has increased business by 60 percent compared to this time last year.

“We’ve certainly been seeing much bigger crowds this year starting two hours before the game and even during the games now,” he said.

Schwader said last year was considerably slower, but this year has been the busiest of the three years since the bar opened.

Caitlin West, a bartender at Rounding Third at 6317 W. Bluemound Rd. and a 2009 graduate of the College of Communication, said the rush caused by Brewers games has been “insane” in recent weeks.

West said she normally does not stop moving for about an hour and a half before games, fixing drinks for fans before they are shuttled to the game. She said besides the bar being packed during and before the game, large crowds also gather to celebrate and drink after Brewers’ victories.

Both Schwader and West predicted business would continue to grow during the Packers’ season.

Schwader said Brewskis has employed a number of tactics to get people to come back, especially after the Brewers’ season is over, ranging from free shots for Packers and Badgers touchdowns to various drink specials during games.

While bars and restaurants have been greatly impacted by increased interest in sports, retailers have also felt the positive effects of successful local teams.

Derek Swalheim, store manager at Sports Authority Sporting Goods in Greenfield, said the store has seen a jump in demand for Brewers merchandise.

“We can’t get it in fast enough,” Swalheim said, “It flies off the shelves.”

While Swalheim said he couldn’t give out specific numbers, he said the increase in percentage of sales has been huge this year—and likely exaggerated because last year was a rough season for the Brewers, who finished third in their division and well out of playoff contention.

Swalheim said Packers gear is also projected to take off in upcoming weeks, but NCAA apparel has remained steady.

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