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League Releases Biennial Report on Broadway's Economic Contribution to New York City


(New York, April 5, 2006) After the setbacks of 9/11, Broadway’s economic impact on New York is on the rise. The latest biennial economic impact study by The League of American Theatres and Producers, “Broadway’s Economic Contribution to New York City: 2004-2005 Season,” reveals that the impact derived from Broadway-related spending has hit $4.8 billion – a 4% inflation-adjusted increase from $4.62 billion in 2002-2003. Although this figure is slightly below the $4.99 billion recorded in the 2000-2001 season before the effects of 9/11 it represents a significant 44% increase from the $3.32 billion in impact contributed in the 1998-1999 season.

Broadway's Economic Impact


Broadway Spending

Millions of Dollars*

Visitor Ancillary Spending


Capital Investment to Theatres


Production Expenses




*all figures in FY2005 dollars


Visitor Spending
The impact derived from Broadway-related visitor spending, which includes ancillary costs such as hotels, restaurants and shopping, was up 9% from $2.79 billion in 2002-2003 to $3.06 billion last season. Direct spending on hotels saw the biggest increase, up 29% from $436.2 million in 2002-2003 to $562.7 million in 2004-2005, due to an increase in time and money spent in New York by domestic visitors.

“Like the rest of New York, Broadway was hit hard after September 11th,” commented Jed Bernstein, President of The League of American Theatres and Producers. “However, we’re pleased that our latest economic impact study shows a healthy increase in Broadway’s contribution to the city. The tourists, who are the backbone of the industry, are returning and spending more. Broadway is producing more new shows and has had a record number of playing weeks. All of these factors combine to play a vital role in ensuring the economic growth of one of New York’s premier tourist attractions.”

“Broadway plays an unparalleled role in the fabric of New York City’s identity as the culture and entertainment capital of the world,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Not only does it account for hundred of millions of dollars in visitor spending and tens of thousands of jobs, but also it establishes New York City as the home of world-class theatre and contributes to the City’s reputation as a center for the arts. It is truly one of our most treasured assets.”

Show Expenses
Impact from Broadway show expenses totaled $1.7 billion in the 2004-2005 season, representing a 54% increase from 1996-1997. The number of playing weeks (total number of weeks all shows played) were the second highest in recorded history, reaching 1,494. This figure is only topped by 1,544 playing weeks in the 2002-2003 season.

Along with 30 shows that carried over from past seasons, 39 new productions were mounted during the 2004-2005 season - three more than in the 2002-2003 season and 11 more than in 2000-2001. Producers spent an all-time high of $165.2 million to bring these shows to Broadway, representing a 23% increase from the $134.5 million spent in 2002-2003 and a 31% increase from $125.7 million in 2000-2001.

Inherent Contributions
From actors, directors and producers to waiters, taxi drivers and store clerks, Broadway supports a wide range of employment. The number of jobs depending on Broadway has jumped 12.5%, from 40,000 in 2002-2003 to 45,000 last season. Broadway shows and venues directly and indirectly employed 13,000 people, while 32,000 people were employed in local restaurants, shops, taxis etc. because of Broadway-motivated visitors.

Broadway also generated significant tax revenues for New York City, through taxes such as general corporation tax, bank tax, utilities tax, commercial rent tax and local property tax. Excluding corporate profit taxes, an estimated $234.8 million in local tax revenues may be traced directly to the Broadway industry.

“Broadway’s Economic Contribution to New York City” is published biennially by The League of American Theatres and Producers, which is 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.

About the Methodology
All dollar figures in the report have been adjusted for inflation. Direct expenses were estimated based on information gathered from producers, theatre owners, and audience members regarding what they spent specifically for Broadway in New York City from June 2004 through June 2005. Ancillary visitor spending was determined from surveys administered to theatergoers throughout the season. This analysis was published in conjunction with the Alliance for the Arts.

About The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc.
The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., created in 1930 is the official trade association for the commercial theatre industry. The League’s 500-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in 140 + North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to almost 30 million people in New York and across the US and Canada.

For a complete copy of the report, or for further information, please contact:
Alan Cohen, Director of Communications, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., acohen@broadway.org, Phone: (212) 703-0225.