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Report: Broadway Contributes $11.2 Billion to New York City

The Great White Way gives back as it breaks records at the box office.
Jennifer Laski

Broadway shows contributed $11.2 billion to the New York City economy during the 2010-2011 season, the Broadway League announced Tuesday.

The organization arrived at that figure by measuring the economic impact of spending in three areas: Broadway production companies mounting and running shows ($2.2 billion); theater operators maintaining and renovating venues ($22.3 million); and ancillary purchases by theater-loving tourists ($9 billion).

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The money that was directly spent in those brackets was then re-spent in further rounds, said the League, noting that the Great White Way supports 86,000 jobs and directs $550 million in taxes to New York.

The $11.2 billion marks a nine percent jump from the 2008 – 2009 season, where $10 billion was funneled into New York.

Meanwhile, Broadway is hitting record numbers at the box office, generating $1.14 billion in the 2011-2012 season, which wrapped in May at the cutoff point for Tony Awards eligibility. Much of the increase is attributed to the growing proliferation of premium-priced tickets for in-demand shows.

In addition to perennial top-earners such as Wicked and The Lion King, season totals saw a boost with the stellar grosses of The Book of Mormon and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Hit limited engagements also were major contributors, chief among them Hugh Jackman's song-and-dance revue, Back on Broadway, and the Mike Nichols-directed Death of Salesman revival, which ended its run last Saturday by breaking the house record at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre for the eighth time.

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