What Was The End (And Net) Result Of 'Hamilton' Being In Hartford

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The musical phenomenon "Hamilton" is long gone from The Bushnell after its three-week, 24-performance run in December that attracted more than 66,000 patrons, some willing to spend more than $1,000 a ticket.

But what effect did the show have on The Bushnell — and the Capital City?

Financially, it brought in big bucks to the box office: more than $13 million, according to David Fay, president and CEO of The Bushnell.

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Of that gross figure, the theater — through a complex multi-tiered contract — got to keep more than $2 million.

"It was one of the fairest deals for a blockbuster I have ever seen in my career," says Fay, without mentioning previous mega-hits from Disney and producer Cameron Mackintosh.

"We can say now it was a completely sold-out run," says Fay, noting that producers resisted marketing that distinction while the show was in town because some tickets were being held back and then released to consumers up to the final performance. It was all part of the producers' strategy to foil scalpers who resell tickets at exorbitant prices — with none of that big bump going to those who created and produced the show.

David Fay

David Fay

"We fought hard to keep the tickets out of the hands of brokers who were gouging people," says Fay.

Working with the attorney general's office on consumer protection, The Bushnell developed techniques to identify brokers who were buying tickets on the theater's website and then reselling them at a much higher figure. At the same time, the musical's producers developed a fluid pricing strategy — also known as "dynamic pricing" — that undercuts whatever figure brokers are selling tickets for online.

"We cancelled 900 orders we identified as broker-bought and then put them back into our system," says Fay.