Broadway attendance returns to pre-pandemic levels

Attendance figures for New York’s Broadway theaters rose about 45% last season from a year earlier, indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels, according to figures released Tuesday.

For the 2022-23 season, Broadway attendance reached 12.28 million, according to the Broadway League, a theater industry trade association. The season, which ran from May 2022 to April 2023, marked the first full season since the Broadway return of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those numbers represented a significant increase from the shortened 2021-2022 season, which saw attendance hit 6.73 million, the Broadway League reported.

Broadway was farm by the pandemic for about a year and a half, from March 2020 to September 2021.

Broadway Moulin Rouge
The cast during the curtain call for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theater on April 11, 2023 in New York City.

Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

The 2022-23 season saw Broadway generate $1.578 billion in box office revenue, up from $845 million the previous year, according to the Broadway League.

88.4% of seats were filled for the 11,506 performances in the 2022-23 season, the Broadway League added.

“Broadway is experiencing a strong rebound as audiences return to New York City to experience extraordinary live theater,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement.

For comparison, in 2018-19 attendance reached 14.77 million and box office gross totaled $1.829 billion, both Broadway records.

Broadway had 40 new shows open last season, along with 35 returning productions. Of those new shows, 15 were musicals and 24 were plays, according to the Broadway League. Last month, “The Phantom of the Opera”, the longest-running show in Broadway history, held its final performance. The show had been on Broadway since January 1988.


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