The estimated citywide economic impact is $461.3 million, according to OBA. The group pointed out that Off-Broadway outsold The New York Yankees, The Statue of Liberty, Coney Island and The Metropolitan Museum of Art — as well as almost every other major New York City attraction — during the 2007-08 theatre season.
"The figures…reinforce what members of the Off-Broadway community have long suspected," stated Peter Breger, a theatrical attorney who serves as the chair of the OBA. "Off-Broadway is not only a major player in the city's arts and culture scene. Its economic enhancements to the City of New York are on par with — and in many cases, they outdistance — those attractions generally perceived to be among New York's top destinations for locals and tourists alike."
The figures were calculated based on a compilation of box-office data provided by various Off-Broadway ticketing agencies, producers and theatre managers for the period Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 31, 2008. Specific theatres and managers were not named in the announcement.
The report includes data from many but not all commercial and not-for-profit Off-Broadway productions in theatres with 199-500 seats, plus smaller theatres that are significant in traffic, including Theater Row, DR2, Signature Theater and The Rattlestick. It does not include data from small-venue non-Equity engagements.
Breger told Variety that the report was as complete as possible, but that some smaller shows were not represented. The OBA is "an open forum for Off-Broadway producers, general managers, venue owners, press agents and marketing firms who meet to promote and support Off-Broadway theatre, encourage and assist new producers, plan for the future of the industry, share ideas and network."
The Off-Broadway Alliance is not to be confused with the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers, "founded in 1959 to foster theatrical productions produced in Off-Broadway theatres, to assist in the voluntary exchange of information among its members, and to serve as the collective voice of its membership in pursuit of these goals."