The touring production of the Broadway blockbuster known as Hamilton sets up camp at the Hollywood Pantages for a run from August 11 through December 30. And while tickets flying off the shelves and out the computers may not yet match the Times Square premiums reaching $1,000 and beyond, the hype is real. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning hip-hop musical about the least-known Founding Father has grown into a billion dollar success since it opened two years ago at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The touring version has provided local presenters not only with a hot commodity on its own, but also an event many have linked to annual subscription sales, boosting the bottom line across an entire season.
Hamilton was announced January 26 as the crown jewel in Hollywood Pantages’ 2017-2018 season. First dibs on the best seats went to season ticket holders, who could renew and purchase new-season packages that included Hamilton. Individual tickets, which ranged from $85 to $750, then went on pre-sale for American Express Cardmembers between April 19-25. Everyone else had to wait until April 30 to score tickets. Pantages declined Deadline’s request for figures relating to ticket sales and subscriptions. But a search through online ticket sites including the Pantages and the official Hamilton Ticketmaster site, as well as resellers like StubHub and VividSeats that change price on any given date according to demand, shows a virtual sell-out for the first weeks in the run, with availability improving until the November-December holiday rush.
New York-based SeatGeek is a key competitor in the ticket brokering space, selling banner events around the country. Hamilton‘s run in L.A. is on its menu and as of now, the overall average resale price of a ticket is $510. This is comparable to the tour’s previous stop, San Francisco, where the overall ticket resale price was $513. Both are well above the Chicago production which was $361.
It’s no surprise that the SeatGeek average for Hamilton tickets for August, the musical’s opening night, is highest at $624. The average inches down throughout the musical’s run in L.A. with December currently averaging $335 per ticket. SeatGeek also sees a spike in prices on weekends. Saturday is seeing an average of $544, while Sunday is $543. This is in comparison to Wednesday ($399), Thursday ($466), and Friday ($469). However, Tuesday sees a high price tag for tickets, averaging $540 a pop. All of those prices are bound to rise as supply dwindles, if the experience of other markets is a reliable guide.
Chris Leyden, Content Analyst of SeatGeek, says “The secondary market is very dynamic, tickets will sell where supply and demand meet. So as an event gets closer sellers will oftentimes lower prices because they would rather take something than nothing, as the ticket is worthless once the event passes.”
Hamilton ticket sales will put a nice chunk of change in SeatGeek’s bank — and will more than likely pad Pantages’ till. The numbers of SeatGeek’s sales for the musical are through the roof compared to Pantages’ previous show, The Book Of Mormon, which averaged $155. Keep in mind, these average ticket prices are for SeatGeek, and not Pantages. Hungry ticket buyers who seek out resellers for Hamilton should be vigilant and not be duped by fraudulent ticket sales and seek out authorized sellers.
Outside of resellers and direct ticket sales from Pantages, Hamilton will be hosting a lottery for $10 tickets for each performance in L.A. The lottery, which started with memorable viral video #Ham4Ham performances in New York, has since become a go-to solution for those who are looking for a more frugal way of obtaining tickets for previous tour stops. If anything like previous lotteries, a group of seats will be set aside at each performance at the Pantages. Eager Hamilton fans wanting tickets can put their in the lottery up to an hour before showtime.Full details on Pantages’ official lottery process have yet to be released, but more than likely, a set number of names will be drawn at random and the winners will be able to purchase $10 tickets — to really good seats, I might add.
TodayTix, which launched Hamilton’s very first mobile lottery, when it was off-Broadway at The Public Theater, will be upping the chances for tickets with “Hunt4Ham,” a weekly city-wide scavenger hunt that gives L.A. locals their shot to win a free pair of tickets. Each week of Hamilton’s run in L.A., a TodayTix representative with two tickets will be sent to a secret location in the city. Those who wish to participate in Hunt4Ham can visit hunt4ham.com to sign up for emails and set up social media alerts to receive clues throughout the week leading up to the hunt. The clues will also include a secret code word that the participant will need to remember in order to claim their tickets. The first person to arrive to the secret location on the day of the hunt will win two tickets.
The music, lyrics, and book for Hamilton was written by Miranda and was inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow. The musical tells the story of Founding Father and Revolutionary War hero Alexander Hamilton via modern hip-hop, pop and R&B music. The touring production stars Michael Luwoye in the titular role originated by Miranda as well as Joshua Henry in the role of Aaron Burr, which was originated by Tony Award-winner Leslie Odom Jr. Rory O’Malley plays King George III.