The Broadway League recently released its 2010-2011 Broadway’s Economic Contributions to New York City report, and not even the current crippling economy we are in can upset Broadway’s success! Broadway totaled an $11.2 billion contribution to New York City’s economy for this past season.
The Broadway League, described by Mark Snetiker of Entertainment Weekly, acts as the national trade association for New York’s stage industry. According to the League, Broadway’s large contribution was a result of three separate spending areas.
The first, producers spending money to mount and run shows, contributed around $2.2 billion. The second, theatre owners paying for renovations to maintain the quality of their venues, put forth about $22.3 million. The third, and by far the largest contributor, is that of “Broadway Tourist” purchases. But what is a “Broadway Tourist?” To Snetiker, they are an “abstract group made up of non-New Yorkers who said that Broadway was ‘a very important reason’ for their visit to New York.”
Broadway’s accomplishments last year shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, however, considering the wild successes of current running shows like ” The Lion King,” “Wicked,” “The Book of Mormon,” and especially “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” whose sets alone are worth millions of dollars.
It is rumored, according to Entertainment Weekly, that a premium ticket for “Book of Mormon” can cost up to $477. With the sheer number of shows currently running on-and-off Broadway, it is no wonder the organization was able to contribute so much to New York’s economy.
From the last economic contributions report in 2008-2009, Broadway’s contributions have increased by 9 percent. The 2008-2009 report stated that Broadway raised a total of $9.8 billion.
Today, Broadway supports around 86,000 jobs, also up from 08-09’s 84,400 jobs. In the 2010-2011 report, Broadway generated $550 million in taxes, over $477 million from the last report. The subsequent categories differed greatly over the year, with the Broadway Tourist spending increased from 08-09’s $7.7 billion, while theatres’ and shows’ contributions actually decreased. As Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League said, “The new economic impact information…reminds us of how important Broadway is to tourism.”
In the 2010-2011 report, a chart was provided summarizing audience spending (not including show tickets). According to the ancillary spending report, Broadway tourists spend 30 percent on dining, 26 percent on lodging, 15 percent on shopping, 8 percent on local transportation, 7 percent on non-Broadway entertainment, and a large percentage on miscellaneous attractions. It is clear that Broadway tourists spend countless dollars to support New York City’s economy, as they are the reigning contributors to this year’s $11.2 billion, and years past.
It will be interesting to see the economic spending report for the 2011-2012 year, as the organization has grossed $1.14 billion this season, and attendance has reached 12.33 million according to a recent Broadway League report. Up 5.4 percent from last season, 2011-2012 is the highest grossing season on record.
St. Martin contributes this season’s success to the variety of shows available. “The variety of shows currently on Broadway succeeds in providing something for everyone,” she said. “We’re not surprised that this is the highest grossing season in our history.” During the 2011-12 season, 14 new musicals, 23 new plays, and 3 specials premiered, and all productions ran for 1,522 playing weeks.
For more Broadway facts, visit The Broadway League.