The Playgoer: West End Gives B'way Run for Money?

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Monday, January 29, 2007

West End Gives B'way Run for Money?

Turns out Broadway's boom last year may have signalled a phenomenon not unique to New York. London's West End reports similar box office numbers.

Are we experiencing just a general surge in theatre tourism across the globe? Or is it a result of basically the same shows (!) being offered on both sides of the Atlantic? (flowing both ways, of course)

Yet the two commercial arenas still operate under some different economic circumstances. Some revealing stats:

The average price of a West End ticket was £32.43 (around $63.53) in 2006. That's still smaller than Broadway's average of $75.69, according to figures from the League of American Theatres and Producers.

The West End earned less money but sold more tickets than Broadway did. Broadway revenues were $906 million on 11.97 million tickets in 2006, according to the League. Broadway, however, numbers only 39 theatres, while SOLT's West End figures take into account 53 theatres.

The British government received £59 million (around $116 million) in VAT revenues from West End tickets.

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