Here’s some unexpected stage news for you: During the 2010-11 season, the Broadway industry pumped a total of $11.2 billion into the New York City economy, according to a report released today.
The Broadway League, which acts as the national trade association for New York’s stage industry, reported that the hefty chunk of cash was a result of three distinct areas of direct spending: spending by producers, in order to put on shows and keep them running; spending by theater owners, in order to maintain and renovate their venues; and spending by “Broadway tourists,” an abstract group made up of non-New Yorkers who said that Broadway was “a very important reason” for their visit to New York.
The total contribution of the tourist group was $9 billion, while producer costs added $2.2 billion and theaters an additional $22.3 million. The statistics mark a 9 percent increase overall since the last time the report was released; in the 2008-09 season, Broadway raked in $10.2 billion, although one notable difference to highlight is the difference in theater capital expenses, which shrank by more than half this year (the lost excess seemed insignificantly split between the other larger spheres). The Broadway League’s report also stated that the industry generated $550 million in taxes to New York and supported an estimated 86,000 jobs.
Is the inflated number any surprise, given the year’s big contributions by shows like The Book of Mormon and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark? The former can hit up to $477 for a premium ticket, while the latter’s super sets were super expensive, to the tune of a rumored $75 million cap. Factor in long-running cash suckers (a term of endearment, I swear) like The Lion King and Wicked and the hefty economic sum suddenly makes more sense.
Surprised? Underwhelmed? Or are you waiting for the industry report that will finally give us hard numbers about how many old women crinkled plastic wrappers during the emotional apogee of Mamma Mia!?