New Yorkers might groan about the tourists around theater-heavy midtown Manhattan, but those slow walkers helped make the city richer to the tune of $11.2 billion last season, according to a new report by the Broadway League.
The report by the League, the industry's national trade association, broke Broadway's economic contributions during the 2010-2011 season into three telling parts: all told, theater operators spent $22.3 million to maintain and renovate their venues, production companies spent $2.2 billion to mount and run shows, and tourists visiting the city for shows shelled out the lion's share: a whopping $9 billion for ancillary purchases.
This marks a 9 percent jump from the previous season's generation of $10 billion. Jobs supported by the industry also rose, according to the League's executive director, Charlotte St. Martin, from 84,000 to 86000.
The news comes at a time of fewer international "Broadway tourists" than usual, as well as record numbers at the Broadway box office, with ticket prices for top shows like "The Book Of Mormon" hovering around $500. In other words, Americans are spending more than ever on theater. Who knew?