How to buy last minute tickets for Hamilton on Broadway
August 3, 2020
In order to understand how Hamilton last minute tickets work you need to understand the structure of the ticket market. The so-called primary market is the first point of sale of tickets. Generally this means buying tickets directly from the venue’s box office. There is also a very active secondary market. This is where you can re-sell the tickets that you purchased from the box office. The secondary market includes people who cannot make it to the show and professional ticket brokers.
Buying tickets from the primary market is straight forward because prices rarely fluctuate over time — the same seat is unlikely to change prices. The secondary market on the other hand is subject to larger price swings. The same Hamilton tickets can change prices from $300 to $30 in a matter of hours.
Last Minute Ticket Offers for Hamilton
You will not find last minute offers at the box office. Even if the Richard Rogers theater didn’t sell all of its seats (very unlikely in the case of Hamilton) they will not lower the prices of their unsold inventory due to the moral hazard — people will learn this and next time they will wait until the last moment to make their purchase.
After beginning as a song delivered at the White House in 2009, the Tony-, Pulitzer-, and Olivier-winning Hamilton now celebrates five years on Broadway. The musical made its debut at the Public Theatre in 2015 to rave reviews, transferring to Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre to begin previiews July 13, 2015, and officially opening August 6. The production earned 16 Tony Award nominations, winning 11, including Best Musical. Featuring music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton tells the story of Revolutionary War hero and political mastermind Alexander Hamilton while exploring America’s fiery beginnings.
But the secondary market is different. When you (the theater-goer) are buying ahead of time from resellers, you can expect to pay a significant markup. Ticket brokers will often markup their tickets by at least 50% (On top of that websites charge additional service fees of additional 10–30%).In cases where tickets are not selling as expected, ticket resellers have a strong incentive to lower their prices — sometimes below the price they paid for the tickets initially in order to minimize their losses. Imagine if you are stuck with 10 orchestra seats you purchased for $250 each. You were hoping to net a handsome profit by selling them at $350. However, there are now 2 hours left until the start of the show and you only sold 2 of them. You are suddenly willing to let the remaining 8 tickets go for $100 (or even lower) so you could at least recoup some of your initial investment.
Of course, the opposite can also happen. Prices can go up. Brokers might see that the demand is stronger than usual and they might increase their prices as their tickets are getting sold faster than expected. So waiting for a last minute deal for a show like Hamilton is not guaranteed to pay off.
By definition, you can buy “last minute tickets” for Hamilton …. in the last minute. This usually means 2 hours or less before the opening curtain. But the best deals usually happen 30 minutes or less prior to the start of the show.
One of the best ways to take advantage of this is to stop the Broadwaypass Last Minute Ticket Booth located in Times Square (1578 Broadway, between 47th and 48th street). One of the ticket specialists there will inform you about the ticket availability and prices for Hamilton as well as all other shows.
If you prefer to do this online, you can sign up for last minute alerts for Hamilton at this link.
For me, the most eloquent insights into Hamilton is an artistic life-force coming from its creators and cast members, who have been deeply committed since its formative days of development. “It’s the story of America then told by America now,” explains Miranda, in an interview with the cast this month called ‘Hamilton in Depth.’ “If this had been cast with all white people, wouldn’t you think I messed up?” “How do we give a story access to people who have been kept from it for so many years?” explains Kail, referring to the casting choices. “Four men of color, singing about friendship and brotherhood – the image of that WAS the revolution,” says Leslie Odom Jr. (who plays the role of Aaron Burr). “By putting brown people at the center of the story means ‘we built this, too!’” exclaims Daveed Diggs (playing the roles of Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson).