Ladies and gentlemen, start your bots. Hamilton tickets go on sale to the general public at 11:10 PM, according to Ticketmaster, presumably minutes after it wins the Tony Award for best new musical.
There’s no evidence that producers over-reached last week with the record $849 tickets they introduced, at least with the best seats, notwithstanding the public relations fallout and implications for theater and elitism. In a “presale” to American Express cardholders, theatergoers and brokers have snapped up many of the $849 tickets near the stage in the center orchestra of the Richard Rodgers. There’s wider availability for $849 seats by the sides and towards the rear. The block is from Jan. 31 to May 21, 2017. (Producer Jeffrey Seller said he’s also increasing the number of $10 seats available via daily lotteries.)
A broker who spoke on condition of anonymity said he bought prime $849 tickets in the hope of reselling them for $1,200 or more, given the prices today in the secondary market. The broker circumvented the four-ticket-maximum by partnering with customers who have Amex Centurion or Platinum cards: they use two for themselves and share in any profits for the other pair that he attempts to resell.
Separately, in a “fan presale,” $179 and $199 tickets in the mezzanine were released to those who’d submitted their email addresses to HamiltononBroadway.com. They appear to have all sold.
Since Hamilton began previews on Broadway eleven months ago following ecstatic reviews off-Broadway, producers have been bedeviled by resellers charging huge markups. Last week, composer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda published an op-ed in the New York Times urging the state assembly to pass a bill making it a crime for brokers to knowingly resell or offer for resale tickets purchased with automated software known as “bots.”
In a New York Times magazine story in April, before the increase, Seller fretted about the effect of potentially raising the ticket price to about $800. That would increase revenue. “But what would that do to the show?” he was quoted as saying . “What would it do to Broadway?”