Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Does it Make Sense to Pay a Premium Price for Broadway Theater Tickets?

Years ago, those of us licensed ticket agents for Broadway Shows never sold "premium tickets" for any show. That's because Broadway Shows never had premium pricing. In general premium seating refers to the first 10 rows center orchestra seats in most theaters in New York City. In the old days, all you had to do to get the premium seats was to purchase tickets as soon as a show put a block of tickets on sale or be considered a VIP and buy your tickets through the office of a shows producer.

Then about 10 years ago or so, the theaters started offering these premium seats for a much higher price. Sometimes double or triple the regular price of an orchestra seat. You can imagine how much extra money the shows are taking in now. During Thanksgiving Week, the hit Broadway show Wicked had sales of over $2 million dollars, about 25 % more than a typical busy season week.

Although it may seem unfair for shows to raise the prices for the premium seats, in a way there is justification. Apparently the higher priced premium seats offset some discounted seating that shows offer for slower selling performances. After all, they are in business to make money.

So even though some folks don't mind paying higher prices for premium seating for "sell out" shows like Wicked, Jersey Boys, Billy Elliot and The Adams Family, I have a little secret to share. Most of the other 30 shows or so that are typically playing on Broadway on any given moment, do not sell all their inventory for every performance. What this means for the public is the "reverse" of premium pricing. Something Applause Ticket Service calls BFV pricing, or Below Face Value pricing.

Below Face Value pricing is a simple concept really. Applause buys the tickets at a discount, adds on a small service fee for our efforts and service, then sells them to you at the best prices around.

So does it make sense to pay premium prices for Broadway theater tickets? The answer is simple of course. Sometimes yes and sometimes no, in my opinion. But why pay more than you need to?

I hope you found this article on Broadway ticket pricing helpful.

Rich Gladstone
Applause Ticket Service
311 West 43rd Street, suite 601
NY, NY 10036
local phone 212-307-7050
toll free 800-451-9930
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