Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Pre"-rush Tickets for Broadway?

Most adventurous Broadway lovers are aware of rush ticket policies for many Broadway production. Playbill.com even keeps an up-to-date list of these available for people who have the flexibility to try again and again for tickets to their favorite shows.

A lot of rush policies are good day of meaning you buy the rush ticket an hour or two before the show (if you are one of the lucky people who waited in line). Usually these rush tickets are heavily discounted ($20 - $35 in most cases) and you take your chances as to whether you'll get into that particular performance.

But what if you could buy a "pre"-rush ticket even further in advance? Here me out...

What if you could pay a little bit more, say $40-50, weeks in advance but not for a particular day? Imagine it as a sort of "standby" ticket or pass (similar to a gift certificate). It guarantees that you have a ticket for that show some day but that day is up to you. You could call or visit the box office on the day you wish to attend and, pending availability, they would exchange your pass for the actual ticket. Done!

Benefits for you:
  1. Your ticket is paid for. You took care of that already. You don't have to stand in long lines and pray you'll get it.
  2. You still take your chances but your whole day doesn't hinge on whether you get in or not... it's done that morning.
Benefit for the show:
  1. They have your money. Granted, there are some accounting questions here. The show can't really count your purchase until you've received the goods in exchange but they could earn interest off of it... couldn't they?
  2. They can worry less about further discounting tickets day-of because they will have a group of committed consumers who will be happy to call or visit day of and exchange their slightly higher priced pass for a ticket to the show that day.
What happens if the show closes and you still have this pass? Well, it could happen. But if the show isn't considering your pass income until you've seen it (which they shouldn't) then the income could pass on to the show you do choose. For example, if you bought your "pre"-rush ticket at a Shubert box office it is conceivable that you could use it at another Shubert box office if your show closes. Or, worse case scenario, you get a refund.

I'm curious to know if you have any thoughts on this. Would you buy a "pre"-rush ticket/pass/standby voucher for a little more if it meant you didn't have to worry about rush day-of? Is this even necessary? Just throwing an idea out there to initiate a conversation. Share your thoughts!

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