Shining bright on Broadway: New Yorkers.
More locals attended a Broadway show in 2016-2017 than any season since 1998-1999, according to the Broadway League’s 20th annual demographics report out Tuesday.
Also, the number of theatergoers under 18 years old last season reached 1.65 million. That was the highest since the industry group’s analysis began two decades ago.
There were another 1.62 million admissions by theatergoers aged 18-24.
Total attendance reached 13.3 million people last year, a healthy 4% increase from 2015-16. Last year’s $ 1.45 billion record-setting box office was due in part to premium pricing at hits like “Hamilton,” “Hello, Dolly!” and “Dear Evan Hansen.”
“Last season brought people from all over the world to a Broadway show,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League.
These theatergoers represented a variety of ages and ethnic backgrounds and showed different purchasing habits and theatergoing preferences, the industry trade group pointed out.
But tourists keep the majority of the lights burning on the Great White Way.
Out-of-towners accounted for 61% of the 13.3 million people who attended Broadway productions last season, while Big Apple residents accounted for 22% of admissions. The remainder of tickets sold were from surrounding suburbs. The survey showed that women made up two-thirds of audiences.
Findings are based on questionnaires handed out before shows throughout the last season. They reveal not just who is buying tickets to Broadway shows but how they are purchasing them.
About half of the respondents said they bought their tickets online. And American theatergoers were more likely than others to use the internet to snag tickets, while tourists who live outside the U.S. were more likely to make the purchase in person.
The average ticket price for a Broadway show last year was $ 109. It was even higher at blockbusters like “Hello, Dolly!” and “Hamilton,” where seats sold for more than $ 800.
As such, Broadway seats are not impulse buys. The League’s latest findings shows as much. The average reported date of ticket purchase for a Broadway show was 42 days before the performance.
That’s nearly a month and a half to count the Hamiltons they spent and anticipate.
Hello, Dolly. Good-bye, dollars.