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Broadway Extends Cancellations Into Spring of 2021 As COVID Pandemic Ravages Live Arts Industry

Broadway, which attracted a record 18.5 million theatre-goers last season, more than the combined total for all ten New York and New Jersey-based pro sports teams, has extended show cancellations until least May of next year.

The Broadway League, a trade association for live-event performances in New York City, said Friday that all performances will be cancelled until well into the spring of next year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend the iconic industry.

The Broadway League said ticket sales will be suspended, with buyers encouraged to seek information on exchanges and refunds, until at least the end of May. The coronavirus pandemic triggered a decision to shut down 31 Broadway performances, as well as 8 productions that were in rehearsals and preparing to open, in early March.

“With nearly 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway for their livelihood and an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion to the city, our membership is committed to re-opening as soon as conditions permit us to do so," said Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin. "We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again.” 

The Broadway League has been lobbying Congress for support for several months, owing to the industry's direct contribution to the New York City economy and the broader $115 billion impact that the arts have on the state of New York.

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Broadway attendance, in fact, hit a record high of 18.5 million in in last full season, a figure that topped the combined attendance of all ten professional sports franchises in New York and New Jersey.

Earlier this month, Senator Chuck Schumer gave his support to a bi-partisan bill -- The Save Our Stages Act -- that would provide financial assistance live-event theatrical productions as well as actors, organizers, promoters and producers.

“The Great White Way has, for generations, led the way in what has made this city the envy of the world in the arts, and that’s why it’s so important to provide dedicated federal assistance to Broadway – because it really is a part of what defines New York, and we have to fight for it," Schumer said.