June 13, 2011 1 Comment
If you chose arts – you chose right! At an average ticket price of $54.78 in 2010 (up 6% over 2009), the Arts & Theater category was the priciest average ticket sold as compared to the other three categories of Concerts, Sports, and Family ticketed events. This average ticket price has a complex set of conditions with foreboding future implications.
First, let’s consider the good news: according to the Broadway League Broadway has just come off the highest grossing season ever. Last night’s Tony Awards showcased some of the 42 new shows – the second largest number of shows launched in any Broadway season.
But the arts/cultural scene is much larger and more diverse than Broadway. It consists of a multitude of regional and local theaters struggling with diminishing audiences and the high cost of venues, staging and talent – all operating with limited engagements. The price charged for most arts/theater tickets is equivalent to only half the actual cost of the production. According to Theatre Facts 2009, only 46% of theater revenue came from earned sources. 54% or the bulk of operating revenue comes from contributions. Given that fact, the $55 average ticket without contributions really would be over $100. That’s twice as expensive as concerts and four times the average costs of sports and family events.
Clearly something has to give. Our arts, already operating on a shoestring, need a bombastic overhaul to be priced competitively with the average entertainment ticket.
These average ticket prices come from LiveAnalytics, a research arm of Ticketmaster LLC , which offers intriguing ticket research in their 2010 Live Entertainment Year In Review. Ticketmaster should know. They get their information directly from interaction with their over 200 million consumers buying 400 million tickets annually from over 11,000 clients.