By Alfred Branch, Jr. The stock market might be in a tizzy, but Broadway continues to be a pretty safe bet, as evidenced this...

By Alfred Branch, Jr.

The stock market might be in a tizzy, but Broadway continues to be a pretty safe bet, as evidenced this week by the news that gross ticket sales on the Great White Way are up for the year-to-date compared to 2006.

So far for the 2007 Broadway season, gross ticket sales reached $211,463,246, roughly a 10 percent increase from $191,178,397 for the same period in 2006. Reasons for the increase are varied, and not every week this year has seen a jump in sales, but continued strong showings by Wicked, The Lion King and Jersey Boys are a major part of the impressive numbers. . .


In other ticketing news, live music giant Live Nation announced it sold several venues in the U.K. to MAMA Group Plc for about $12 million.

The company sold four of the British venues, Mean Fiddler, Borderline, Jazz Café and Garage outright, and sold a 75 percent stake in the nightclub G-A-Y. All were part of Mean Fiddler Holdings under Live Nation’s Mean Fiddler Music Group. In published reports, Live Nation officials said the music group will now concentrate on concert and festival promotion. In addition, Live Nation cemented its second-place industry ranking with strong concert sales and an announcement of a new browser “widget” initiative.

Continuing on the concert tip, it appears the “tweens” have spoken. The coveted youth demographic that has made High School Musical such a smash, also catapulted Disney star Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, up the concert rankings ladder.

Tickets for the Hannah Montana tour have been such a hot item that the string of concerts beat out the eagerly anticipated Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight with Ricky Hatton.