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The Bulls’ return to the United Center for Game 3 means a boost for local businesses

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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s been five long years, but NBA playoff basketball is back at the United Center.

It’s Game 3 for the Bulls against the Bucks and neighboring businesses are scoring big.

CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek reported from area bars where excitement is building.

Tipping at the United Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and at Crossroads Bar & Grill on Madison, fans turned out to watch Game 3. Whether at a bar or in person for the first playoff game here in five years – The Bulls mean a big boost for business, which is welcome after a few difficult years during the pandemic.

Manager Eber Garcia says a playoff game brings in 50% more revenue than an average night.

Garcia says the Bulls exceeding expectations in this opening series should mean tonight is jam-packed.

“Everyone’s like glued to the TV and everyone’s screaming, everyone’s going crazy and happy at the same time. It’s fun,” Garcia said.

“The team looks like a totally different team, so look, the Bucks are tough, the Bucks are the defending champions. They’re going to give us everything they’ve got. We probably haven’t seen their best yet, but they’ve got a few injuries now. I think they’re ripe for the picking,” said fan Tony Vittal.

At the Billy Goat Tavern on Madison, they say they’re the last stop before the United Center.

“Well, fingers and toes crossed and hope we’re wrapped up. Hope we’re out,” said manager Gail Doherty.

But Doherty, who hails from Wisconsin, isn’t afraid to be a little controversial. While personally she supports the Greek Freak, professionally she runs with the Bulls.

“Oh, absolutely, for my pocket. Absolutely. They haven’t been so good for so long, so hopefully they’ll go further. Either way, I’ll be happy,” she said.

If you’re rushing for a last minute ticket – on StubHub we found standing room tickets for $169 each. The cheapest seat costs $335. The lower tier seats of the most expensive ticket at $2,964 each.

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