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The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
Telephone: 212-764-1122
Email: EShevitz@broadway.org


February 17, 2009

The Broadway League’s 11th annual demographics report, The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2007-2008, reveals who attends theatre in New York City. It includes highlights on the demographics of the audience and their ticket purchasing habits. The report is part of an ongoing series that profiles Broadway theatergoers each season. The comparison of current theatergoing habits to previous seasons aids in predicting trends for the future.

The analysis is based on extensive survey data gleaned from audience questionnaires distributed throughout the 2007-2008 Broadway season in New York City.

The average age of the Broadway theatregoer was 41.5 years old, consistent with last season, but those under 18 years accounted for a record 1.5 million tickets and 12.4% of the total Broadway audience.

“Last season saw the highest proportion of theatergoers under 18 in recorded history. This is most important to our audience development programs such as Kids Night on Broadway. We know that children who attend a Broadway show grow up to be loyal theatergoers,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “No matter what your age, it’s always a great time to see a Broadway show. Theatre tickets are available for every budget, and buying tickets is easy!”

The report also shows that the use of the Internet for the purchase of tickets has grown by 471% since the 1999-2000 season (from 7% to 40%). Online purchase was the most popular method of ticket buying for a fourth year in row. Only 10% of theatregoers said they purchased their tickets via the telephone, while 22% said they went directly to the box office. The percentage of the audience who purchased their tickets more than one month in advance rose to 39% compared to 32% for the previous three seasons.

Broadway continued to attract repeat customers with the average theatregoer attending more than four shows in the past year, a figure level with the past several seasons. Playgoers tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees. The typical playgoer saw eight shows in the past year, compared with four for the musical attendee. Those who saw fifteen or more shows comprised 5% of the audience, and represented 30% of all tickets sold.

Word-of-mouth was the single strongest reported influence in show selection when it came to seeing a musical. Critical reviews and articles were much more influential with playgoers than with musical attendees, and were in fact more influential than word-of-mouth for playgoers.

Where do theatregoers reside? This year, we asked theatregoers their zip codes enabling us to track where they lived by city and county. Though 19 of the top 25 counties from which Broadway theatregoers came were in New York or New Jersey, the other six top areas of residence included counties in California, Michigan, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Florida. 31% of all Broadway theatergoers reside in New York State.

Tourists purchased approximately 65% of the almost 12.3 million tickets sold to Broadway shows in New York City, tied with the previous season for the largest percentage in the past two decades. Domestic tourists accounted for half of all tickets sold, a proportion that has remained fairly consistent for the past several years.

The report reveals attendance by international visitors to Broadway shows once-again well-surpassing pre-September 11 levels, totaling 1.88 million tickets. Foreign tourists comprised over 15% of attendances, on par with the 2006-2007 season, which is significant to Broadway as this audience stays longer and sees more shows than domestic tourists.

The Demographics of the Broadway Audience is published annually by The Broadway League, the clearinghouse for information on the business, demographics and economic impact of Broadway theatre throughout North America. The League compiles various statistics and publishes extensive reports on a number of topics. Printed versions of the reports are available for purchase online at http://www.broadwayleague.com/index.php?url_identifier=the-demographics-of-the-broadway-audience-2005-2006.

About the Methodology
From June 2007 through June 2008, the League’s Research Department administered surveys at 23 different productions at 70 individual performance times. Shows were selected on a quarterly basis to represent what Broadway was offering that season (i.e., a proportionate number of musicals versus straight plays; revivals versus original works; and new productions versus long-running shows). Questionnaires were distributed at multiple performances per show to account for variances in the weekday, weekend, evening and matinee audiences. Completed questionnaires were tabulated and weighted based upon the actual paid attendance for each show. In total, 14,000 questionnaires were distributed and 7,600 were returned, representing a 54.3% rate of return.

About The Broadway League
The Broadway League is the official trade association for the Broadway theatre industry, operating under the “Now THAT’S Broadway!” banner, which signifies genuine Broadway productions and events. Founded in 1930 as the League of New York Theatres, the League is a membership organization whose 600-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, general managers, and suppliers of theatrical goods and services.

League programs include the Broadway Concierge & Ticket CenterTM, Broadway’s centralized full-price ticket outlet and customer-service headquarters, located in the Times Square Visitor Center; co-presentation of the Tony Awards® with the American Theatre Wing; ILoveNYTheater.com, a multilingual Internet source for show tickets and information; The Broadway Line®, a national toll-free Broadway information hotline at 1-888-BROADWAY; the Touring Broadway Awards®, the first awards program recognizing excellence in touring Broadway productions; Broadway on Broadway® (with the Times Square Alliance), an annual outdoor concert in Times Square; Internet Broadway Database® at IBDB.com; and Kids’ Night on Broadway®, a national audience development program.

Each year The Broadway League and its members bring Broadway theatre to nearly 30 million people in more than 240 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

The Broadway League thanks Theatre Development Fund for its generous support in co-funding this ongoing research project.

For a complete copy of the report, or for further information, please contact:

Elisa Shevitz, Director of Communications, The Broadway League
EShevitz@Broadway.org, 212 703 0225

Erica Ryan, Communications Manager, The Broadway League
ERyan@Broadway.org, 212 703 0221