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Touts force most expensive-ever Hamilton’s hand

In response to widespread touting, the hit musical has increased the price of its premium tickets to become the most expensive Broadway show ever

By Jon Chapple on 09 Jun 2016

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton, Broadway, Jeffrey Seller

Lin-Manuel Miranda (right) as Alexander Hamilton in 'Hamilton'

image © Instagram.com/hamiltonmusical

Hamilton now has the most expensive premium seats on Broadway, as the producers of the Grammy Award-winning musical make efforts to combat the number of tickets finding their way into the hands of touts.

As IQ reported in May, at least US$30,000 from every show – that’s, based on eight shows per week, $240,000 a week or almost $12.5 million a year – was going to ticket resellers, and in response producers were reportedly considering doubling the cost of premium tickets to $995.

The New York Times reports that Hamilton has settled on an increased price of $849, giving it the distinction of having by far the most expensive ticket in Broadway history (the previous record, $477, was held by The Book of Mormon.)

Lead producer Jeffrey Seller said he got to $849 “by continually monitoring the secondary market and finding out where the average is. If I’m at $849, I think we may succeed in taking the motivation out of the scalpers to buy those tickets.”

“In some ways, we’re taking from the rich to give to the poor”

Producers are, however, also making 25 more seats available in the show’s ‘Ham4Ham’ lottery, which currently offers 21 seats for $10 in a same-day draw.

“In some ways, we’re taking from the rich to give to the poor,” lead producer Jeffrey Seller told the Times. “because there’s no question those premiums are subsidising those $10 tickets.”

Primary tickets for Hamilton – a hip-hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, the Nevis-born founding father of the United States, currently running at New York’s Richard Rogers Theatre – are sold out until at least January 2017.

Seller told The New York Times Magazine in April that a broker had bought 20,000 tickets to the show using an automated ticket bot. New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman announced later that month that he is to introduce harsher penalties for companies found to be snapping up hard-to-find tickets with the illegal software, and there are currently two pieces of sister legislation – the Boss Act and the Bots Act, the latter of which deals specifically with ticket bots – making their way through the US House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee.


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