Why is Broadway selling tickets now but will not open until the fall?
Selling tickets now allows producers to gauge interest in their shows. The number of tickets sold reflects the interest of movie-goers as the coronavirus pandemic is still looming out there. Once producers get the number of tickets sold, they can better plan. Those shows that are low in ticket number may need more advertising.
Producers are hoping that by the fall the number of tourists visiting New York and thus, the number visiting the theaters, will have increased as Broadway thrives on tourists. Tourists made up two-thirds of the people visiting before the coronavirus pandemic.
They have their work cut out for them over the next few months. They may have to seek out new cast members. Orchestras and ensembles must rehearse their parts. Costumes may need to be re-fitted or sewn. Choreographers need cast members on hand to practice. On top of that, safety precautions from the taking of temperature, wearing of masks, vaccination requirements among other precautions must be taken into consideration so as not to be a feasting ground for the coronavirus. Then there is the ticket cost. Producers and union leaders must reach agreements on all these issues before shows open.
Also, Broadway’s financial demands does not favor social distancing. The average operating costs for a play are about $300,000 per week, while weekly costs run $600,000 for musicals. Many shows need to sell at least 80% of tickets just to break even.
– Ella Breedlove