Why are Broadway tickets so expensive right now? It’s not just inflation.

If Broadway feels more expensive than ever before, that’s because it is. Despite crowds that haven’t rebounded to pre-COVID levels, the average ticket price for a Broadway show reached an all time high: $128 in the most recent full season, according to data from the Broadway League, an industry trade group. That average has increased steadily since 1980, outpacing inflation greatly since then.

In October 2023, when “Merrily We Roll Along” officially opened on Broadway, the average ticket cost around $230, according to Broadway League data. Two months later, premium seats were priced as high as $899, according to Broadway Journal, a trade publication.

“Hamilton” opened nearly 10 years ago and today the average ticket costs around $186, though some go for as much as $400. But it’s not just the hit shows commanding triple-digit prices.

Industry professionals say soaring ticket prices are due to various reasons, including rising production costs, a changing industry and the rise of celebrity headliners. Many of the shifts they cited have been in the making for decades, but have been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has changed attendance patterns, and also contributed to the rising costs of tickets.

One factor in the average price increase is simple supply and demand. The 41 theaters that make up Broadway have a fixed number of seats, so supply cannot increase.

Demand is more complicated. According to Broadway League data, attendance remains about 17% lower than its pre-pandemic highs. One way productions can keep revenue steady is by raising prices on the fewer tickets they do sell.

Individual theaters’ newsletters often highlight promotions or discounts as well as access to previews. (Here is a list if you’d like to get on more of those email lists.)

Nearly 10% of the tickets sold for Broadway shows are purchased through the Theater Development Fund, a nonprofit that works to make theater accessible and affordable through memberships and its popular TKTS tickets booth.

The average price for theatergoers willing to stand in line at a TKTS booth for tickets was $85 in 2022-23, according to a TDF spokesperson. Theaters and shows also sponsor lotteries and rush programs. The musicals “Six” and “Hadestown,” for example, are currently running lotteries, with tickets around $45. You can read more here.

I absolutely love going to the theater, it is one of my favorite things about living in New York City. Because prices have gotten so high it is hard to do as often but still such a treat when I do! 


Warm regards,

Stacey Froelich 

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