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Average Cost of a Broadway Ticket Passes $100 for the First Time

Thursday, June 26, 2014   (0 Comments)
Los Angeles Times (06/10/14) Ng, David

Broadway ticket prices topped $100 on average for the first time this season, with the nonprofit Broadway League estimating New York theatergoers paid an average of $103.88 per ticket, versus $98.42 last season. The higher price reflects the trend of average Broadway ticket prices rising 34 percent for the last five seasons, while the National Association of Theater Owners calculates movie ticket prices rose 10.8 percent from 2008 to 2013 nationwide. Factors behind the price surge cited by industry leaders include the booming costs of theater production in New York City and dynamic ticket pricing, in which producers can charge premium prices for desirable seats and discounts for others. The costliest tickets on Broadway are typically charged for blockbuster musicals, while tickets for shows with celebrity casts also are often high-priced. The Broadway League says only 20 percent of Broadway shows break even, and those that do usually take about two years to turn a profit. The League also says tourists account for the bulk of Broadway ticket sales. Higher average ticket prices have helped industry revenue rise steadily in the last five seasons, totaling $12.7 billion in the latest season. "At some point, Broadway shows run the risk of pricing tickets beyond the capacity of many potential audiences," warns producer Stephen Hendel.

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