Parking – the word hits me like a punch in the gut. I’m sure I’m not alone in dreading the claustrophobic circling of streets in search of a place to leave your car – squinting at signs, trying not to hit anyone’s mirrors, trying and failing and trying and failing and trying and failing to parallel park while someone on the sidewalk smirks at you.
Well, the Bucks are better than they’ve been in decades, and they’re going to be playing at Fiserv Wednesday, and the Deer District is going to be the absolute place to be and if you think like me, you know what that means – the parking is going to be hellish.
We can’t promise to save you from the stress of maneuvering through traffic-laden streets while already-drunk fans wander in front of your car scanning for a spot, but we can do our best to alleviate it just a little. Here are a few tips for parking at the Deer District, broken down for your reading pleasure.
The Obvious Tip: Get There Early
We had to say it. It’s just true. If you can get there an hour early, it makes this whole rigamarole significantly easier. The street parking (which we’ll say more about below) has more spots. There’s less traffic. People are less drunk. The sunshine can relieve the dark mood inevitably caused by trying to find a parking space. If possible, it’s the way to go.
Download MKE Park
The city of Milwaukee has an app, MKE Park, available for download on iOS or Android. It lets you find lots, reserve spaces, and pay meters from your phone. A quick download is step one in your quest to find parking.
Here are the nearby by garages available, if you’re willing to shell out the fees.
- HIGHLAND PARKING (776 SPACES): You get what you pay for. If you’re not concerned about spending a solid amount of cash on parking, then get a $25-$35 spot at Highland. It’s right next to the Forum. Just roll in and claim your spot. But you might want to buy fast, because while there were still tickets available when this article was published, they might sell out before the game. 1030 N. Sixth St.
- 5TH STREET PARKING STRUCTURE (1,242 SPACES): This is the other garage directly next to the Forum. Big Bonus: it has a skywalk. Prices vary here from $5-$50 depending on the event. A big playoff game like this, you can expect to pay more, but it’s always worth a shot if you want the most convenient location. 1215 N. Fifth St.
- THE WISCONSIN CENTER (272 SPACES): This garage over on Wells charges $15 for daily parking. There aren’t many spots available, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it filled up quick. 500 W. Wells St.
- MACARTHUR SQUARE PARKING STRUCTURE (1,445 SPACES): This is the parking garage directly under the Public Museum, and has the most spaces in the immediate vicinity of Fiserv. You can snag a spot for 4-9 hours for $12. 841 N. James Lovell St.
- SIXTH AND STATE (183 SPACES): This lot can get pricy, with some events going up to $50. 965 N. Sixth St.
- TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH (96 SPACES): The Trinity Lutheran Church lot is the smallest of the nearby lots and does game day parking. 1046 N. Ninth St.
This is where the rubber meets the road. If you’re in search of street parking, the first thing you should do is consider the obvious tip above and get their early. Otherwise, know that you’re going to be searching for a while.
- GO NORTHWARD: The Haymarket neighborhood is usually your best shot at snagging a space. That’s roughly the box north of McKinley Ave and south of Walnut Street, west of Martin Luther King Drive. There are a lot of unmetered spaces in this area, so if you’re looking for a deal, this should be your first stop.
- DO A LAP: A quick lap south to Turner Hall can yield miraculous results. We won’t promise anything, but we’ve snatched some lucky spots late in game on Vel R. Phillips Ave.
- WEST OF THE RIVER: If things are not looking good, the area around MSOE often has a spot or two available, although you’ll have to be up for a 10-15 minute walk.
Your best option might just be circumventing this whole mess and parking at a bar far away. Many local spots offer a shuttle to the game. Here are a few. Call ahead to see about availability:
- CAMP BAR: 4044 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood; 525 E. Menomonee St.; 6600 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa
- FAT DADDY’S: 120 W. National Ave.
- JACK’S AMERICAN PUB: 1321 E. Brady St.
- KELLY’S BLEACHERS: 5218 W. Bluemound Rd.
- MILWAUKEE BRAT HOUSE: 4022 N. Oakland Ave, Shorewood
- O’LYDIA’S BAR AND GRILL: 338 S. First St.
- SAZ’S STATE HOUSE: 5539 W. State St.
- STENY’S: 800 S. Second St.
Skip Parking Altogether
Driving isn’t the only way to get to the Deer District, and if you really hate parking, you should consider these green alternatives:
- MILWAUKEE COUNTY TRANSIT SYSTEM: A ride on an MCTS bus will only set you back $2.25 (and just $2 with the Ride MCTS app). You’ll get dropped off right by the arena if you take routes 19, 31, 33, 34 and 80. Other routes such as the 2, 14, 15, 30, 57, GreenLine, GoldLine and BlueLine will get you within walking distance. You can find more information about the schedule, here.
- THE HOP: The Hop has a couple of stops not far from Fiserv Forum and right now it’s completely free. Take a look at the Hop map to see if there’s a stop near you.
- BIKE OR WALK: This is always an efficient option if you live close enough to the Deer District.