When it comes to the price of event tickets, there are few concert tours, sporting events, or Broadway productions that have lived up to the hype that composer Lin Manuel-Miranda's Hamilton has seen over the past year. This month, tickets to the sold-out production have hit a milestone.
Seats are averaging over the $1,000 mark on the secondary market. This is remarkable in an industry that has often struggled to draw audiences.
The hip-hop musical, based on the life of U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton, made its sold-out Off-Broadway debut at The Public Theater in February 2015, and moved to Broadway in August 2015 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Even prior to its Broadway launch, tickets were averaging $200 -- a number that topped many Broadway shows at the time.
By September, tickets to the show had already reached an impressive average of $404. By October, tickets had spiked to an average of $616, according to data provided by TiqIQ.
Following Manuel-Miranda's two high-profile segments last fall on 60 Minutes and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, ticket prices increased 6.1% in November, with tickets averaging a whopping $654. That month, Hamilton's cast album became the first musical to reach No. 1 on Billboard's rap chart. In December, Hamilton's national tour was announced for September 2016.
Hamilton has dethroned The Lion King for the largest gross revenue, breaking a near year-long streak. On Feb. 15, the cast of Hamilton performed at the Grammys via live telecast, and also took home an award for Best Musical. The recognition alone drove up secondary ticket prices over $200, making tickets even more impossible to come by. As of last week, Hamilton finally eclipsed the $1000 ticket average market, with the cheapest tickets priced at a insanely expensive number of $500-to-$600.It's unlikely that the Hamilton hype will die down? The show has received ringing endorsements and support from celebrities like Beyonce, Kanye West, Eminem, Oprah, and Amy Schumer. Even President Barack Obama has been one of the show's most enthusiastic supporters. Productions scheduled until next January are averaging as much as $945, with the cheapest tickets going for $400.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.