Thursday, May 31, 2007

The League Announces 2006-07 Season Results


Well, you know the League: reading a press release from those good folks is like taking a spin class where you body never moves, yuk yuk yuk.

But here are the facts, as they've spun them:

1. Paid attendance was 12.311 million, up 2.6% over the 2005-06 season; it's the second time Broadway ticket-buying has topped the 12,000,000 mark.

2. Playing weeks (if 10 shows play 10 weeks, as Otis Guernsey used to phrase it, that's 100 playing weeks) was the second highest ever -- 1,509, up from 1,501 in 2005-06. (Oh, if ONLY Losing Louie and The Times They Are A-Changin' had run longer...NOT!)

3. Grosses were $939,000,000, up 8.9% from $861 million last season. Of course, $839,000,000 was spent on Wicked tickets, but shhhhh!

4. What's interesting to me, though, and maybe because it's a throwback to when I was still reporting news, is that tourist attendance has really made a recovery from those awful post-9/11 days. Everyone acts as if, of course, sure, tourism has come back, as if there was never any question that it would. But five, six years ago, it was far from a sure thing.

What is also interesting to me is that the League doesn't present (and may not even collect) any metrics on advanced sales. And by this I mean that ticket-buying patterns and practices also changed post-9/11 -- consumers no longer wanted to plan things two, four, six months in advance, but rather two, four, six days in advance, and that has made it exponentially harder to figure out how to market and advertise and, in general, to economically plan a run.

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