There’s something new besides the red steps.

In addition to accepting credit cards, and offering a stairway to half-price-heaven, the new TKTS booth just started offering both customers and Producers a new feature:  more price levels.

The booth originally starting hawking tkts at 50%, and in recent years added 25% and then 35% to their pricing options.

The levels have been revised again, and now, in an effort to allow Producers to maximize revenue, and to increase the number of shows offered to their customers, TKTS now offers tickets at the traditional 50% off, as well as 40%, 30%, and 20%.

The more options the better, in my opinion.

In fact, why not offer full price and premium tickets as well?  Thanks to the multi-million dollar redesign, ticket buyers are drawn to the booth like Billy Elliot to ballet shoes, so why not give them everything we’ve got? Hey, even Target and Wal-Mart carry non-sale items, so why not TKTS?

Or do you go even further (and admittedly messier) and allow each show to pick whatever price they want and display that price instead of the % (which would actually eliminate the perception that a show was discounting or not).  This would also give the customer a more accurate idea of what the show costs, because let’s face it, to the naive tourist, a 50%-Off ticket to Altar Boyz looks the same as a 50%-Off ticket to The Lion King, when in actuality, there’s more than a $20 difference.

This transformation of TKTS into a centralized Broadway Box Office in the center of Times Square makes the most sense to me, and the most dollars and cents for our shows and TDF.

– – – – –

Only 7 days until . . .


Friday, December 12th @ 6:30 PM
The Time Out Lounge at New World Stages
340 West 50th St. (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
Free Drink, Munchies and $25 tickets to the New World Show of Your Choice (subject to avail.)
RSVP by commenting (Name – 1st Show You Ever Saw)

Any questions?  Email me.

See you there!

  • RLewis says:

    When tickets were half-price, I felt like I was getting a good deal. When there are all sorts of discount levels, I feel like I’m just getting their deal. And that’s why I don’t go there any more – stairs or not. Short term producers win – long term is a very different story. Be careful you don’t try so hard to maximize profit that you cut off your nose to spite your face.

  • Jeff says:

    I actually think this is brilliant, and I’d never thought of it before. Sure, it doesn’t look as enticing as a percentage off or the feeling that you “saved 50%” (when any real broadway-goer knows you can get the same deal on the same show with the mailers you’re inundated with. No waiting on line and you get to pick your seats).
    I also think it’s good from a perception perspective. Everyone knows about TKTS. How many tourists wait to buy tickets because they KNOW they can get them “for half off” or, as I often see it called, “twofers”.
    The Times’ Freakonomics blog recently had an interesting post about similar practice with hotel rooms, mentioning theatre and wondering why last-minute deals aren’t even better. As they point out, you’re doing the show anyway. Selling seats for $1 is better than having empty seats because your fixed cost is almost exactly the same.
    The problem is when people get to used to this kind of thing. At this point, EVERYONE knows about TKTS (and many have the misconception that all shows are there. As if producers hold seats to sell on discount). How do you re-acclimate people to paying closer to full-price? How do you tell them that they shouldn’t wait to get the BEST deal? Let the producers set the price, eliminate that “savings” feeling (except for the people who get mailers, who should be your most valuable customers), and stop advertising it as “discount”.
    Kudos, Ken, I think it’s a fantastic thought!

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