Off-Broadway as economic engine

2:27 PM / Posted by Ashley /

Better late than never...

Off-Broadway as economic engine
By Miriam Kreinin Souccar
Published: June 19, 2009 - 2:30 pm
In an effort to grab some of the spotlight that usually shines on Broadway, a group of off-Broadway producers, theater owners, and other industry executives are releasing the first study of off-Broadway’s economic impact on New York City.
The report, released by the Off Broadway Alliance, found that shows produced in theaters with fewer than 500 seats bring more than $461 million in direct and indirect revenue to the Big Apple.
During the 2007/2008 season, 5.47 million tickets were sold at off-Broadway theaters worth a total of $173 million. The tallies included data from both commercial and non-profit off-Broadway productions.
The impact is small in comparison with the Great White Way, which contributes $5.1 billion to the economy. But the numbers show that off-Broadway is a greater economic force than a number of other local attractions. Off-Broadway productions were attended by 1.7 million more people than visited the Empire State Building, 1.2 million more than visited the Statue of Liberty, and 2 million more than Coney Island, according to the report.
“The figures released today reinforce what members of the Off-Broadway community have long suspected,” said Peter Breger, a theater attorney and chair of the Off-Broadway Alliance. “Off-Broadway’s economic enhancements to the city of New York are on par with, and in many cases they outdistance, those attractions generally perceived to be among New York’s top destinations for locals and tourists alike.”

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