[Alert] 3 Reasons Why Broadway Ticket Sales Could Go Up

Inflation is higher than it has been in 10 years.

In January, consumer prices soared in January by 7.5% (!) from the year before and the highest increase since 1982.

Higher prices (caused by supply chain issues, labor shortages, and from businesses trying to make up for lost time), are everywhere.  

I’m sure you’ve felt it. Have you taken an Uber anywhere recently?

So, what does that mean for theater tickets? Will our tickets go up? 

In the short term, no.  

In fact, in one week in January, Broadway had an average ticket price of $108, compared to $123 in 2020, pre-pandemic. 

But in the long term (in 1-2 years), once the tourists come back and we get closer to “normalcy” (which feels like we’re getting closer to every day), I’d expect ticket prices to rise. 

(Our economy always lags behind – so our inflation will be around a little later than most!)

Why? For Producers to make more profit? Nope. To offset some of the rising costs, in order to keep the shows running!

Here are three reasons why Broadway could see some inflation over the next 12-24 months:

1. Casts are getting bigger.

All those show cancellations in December were scary. And with Covid (or who knows what else) still around, shows are adding more standbys, swings and understudies than they would in the PP era. (Pre-Pandemic). No one wants to cancel a show, so these additional bodies will be extra insurance . . . but it could increase operating costs.


2. Staffs are getting bigger.

Every show now has to have a Covid Safety Office. Shows are also investing in Human Resources departments or executives (a much needed change – how many companies with 100 people working on them do you know without an HR department or process?).  And as creatives are busier than ever, more associates are needed. And all of this drives up costs, and needs an offset.

3. Salaries are getting bigger.

I’m seeing more of a demand for higher salaries from our work force than I’ve seen before. I’m also seeing more “passing” on positions than ever before. The pandemic has made everyone ask a very healthy, “Is this worth it?”  And more shows are having to make it worth it.

All of these increased costs are within reason, which is why I don’t hear many people complaining about them. Producers are rebuilding their economic models for the NOW to account for the cost of doing business right NOW.. And while there isn’t the ability for anyone to demand higher ticket prices this season, that may need to change in the future.

Theater was already risky, Only 1 out of 5 shows recoup, investment.

But with rising costs (we didn’t even talk about supply chain), in order to make sure the shows can pay their bills each week, ticket prices might need to go up as a result. There may be no choice.  .

If this prediction is correct, Producers will also have to work harder to find a way to dedicate a portion of their inventory to those who can’t afford that higher price . . . in order to make sure we have an audience for decades to come.  

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P.S. If you’re ready to speed things up but know you need some help, get on a call with my team. They’ll give you an honest assessment of where you are and if you’re ready to go to the next stage. Click here.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.