The biggest drama of the year.

The biggest drama of the year ain’t on a Broadway stage.

This year’s biggest drama is on the political stage.

The question is, do elections have an effect on Broadway grosses?  As Jerry Lewis says every Labor Day during his telethon when he wants to look at the numbers . . . “TIMPANI”

I took a look at the Broadway grosses tote board from 9/1 through election day since ’85 (all available online, btw), and here’s what I found out.

In the 5 presidential election years since ’85, the grosses during that specified period (9/1 – Election Day) grew by an average of 12.51% and the attendance grew by an average of 8.70% versus the same period one year prior.

In all the other years since ’85, the grosses grew by an average of 5.83% and the total attendance grew by only 1.12%.

Yep, election year growth is outpacing non-election year growth.

I was just as surprised as you.  Yet another reminder that an assumption is never as good as a calculation.

I cannot tell a lie, however, and I must admit that I don’t believe we have enough data to determine if there’s any correlation.

Since the League’s website doesn’t report earlier than ’85, I guess we’ll just have to see what happens in November.

Stay tuned for an update after this year’s biggest drama climaxes.

Even then, we probably still won’t have enough data.  So, we’ll just have to see what happens over the next 5 presidential election years.

You’ll still be reading in 20 years, right?

Think any of the shows currently on the boards will still be running?

Oh, and P.S.

Keep your show organized with the Theatermaker's fool-proof management system

Improve your success rate for getting produced with daily strategy tips.

Send me the system

Related Posts

Podcasting

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.

LEARN MORE