To see “Hamilton,” you probably have to be lucky, famous, rich or very patient.
Where are we going? To why a hit Broadway show can engage in some price discrimination.
Hamilton Ticket Prices
If you are in the lucky category, then one of the 21 front-row $10 tickets could be yours for a Wednesday matinee. You just have to join the 1500 individuals who show up outside the theater between 12 and 12:30 to participate in the lottery. Or you can compete against the 10,000 people who hope to win one of the 21 digital lottery tickets in the front row for other performance days.
This lucky person got a pair of $10.00 “Hamilton” tickets:
In a list of the famous people who have seen “Hamilton,” we can include the Obamas, the Clintons, Paul McCartney, Dick Cheney, Busta Rhymes and Weird Al Yankovic. According to Marketplace.org, it is likely that the show’s PR person, Sam Rudy was their ticket source.
As for those of us who can spend more than our rent on two tickets, the equilibrium price for one has gone beyond $2,000 in secondary markets where brokers resell them with a supply and demand fueled markup. Meanwhile, concluding that they have been underpricing premium seats if resellers can get so much more, the group that owns the Richard Rodgers Theater is reportedly going to charge $995 instead of $549 for their most expensive seats.
And finally, for the patient among us, during February, 2017, box office tickets should be available. Otherwise they are sold out.
Our Bottom Line: Monopoly Pricing
When your show has 16 Tony nominations that include the best show, the best actors, the best original score, you pretty much have monopoly status. As a result, charging different groups difference amounts, you can engage in price discrimination.
Among monopolists, the market is seen through a lens that divides buyers according to what they can spend. So a student might get a low price as well as the person willing to go on a Sunday when Lin-Manuel Miranda’s understudy plays Hamilton. Also, our location preferences divide us as well as whether we are willing to sacrifice time or money for a seat.
The theater owner’s goal? By “sorting customers,” their pricing strategy lets them optimize their revenue.