Nobody needs to tell Broadway producers to pat themselves on the back when things go right, but they do have reason to celebrate this week. According to a study released Apr. 6 by the League of American Theatres & Producers and the Alliance for the Arts, "the Broadway industry" contributed $2.7 billion to the New York City economy in a season. That's up 37 percent from a study conducted five years ago.
According to the study, Broadway shows in the 1996-97 season contributed $899.3 million (with operating costs running at $484.8 million), while capital investments In building two new theatres (the New Amsterdam and Ford Center) and renovating older ones, added $105.7 million to the pot. (The investment made was $72.2 million.) By spending $971 million on nearby restaurants, transportation and other activities, Broadway theatregoers ultimately made an economic impact of $1.7 billion.
The "ripple effect" of "economic impact" takes into account money pumped into advertising, construction, hotels, restaurants and transportation. As League executive director Jed Bernstein put it, "Our audience spends dollars over and above their theatre tickets."
The League of American Theatres & Producers (now recognizable by their "Live Broadway" trademark) comprises more than 500 theatre owners, producers and presenters. The Alliance for the Arts is an arts information and advocacy group.