The Broadway League has released its demographic report tracking Broadway audiences in the 2022-2023 season. One of the most interesting data points is the season saw audiences that were 29% BIPOC, the largest share seen since the data has been collected. This data point indicates that efforts to increase outreach to non-white audiences, one of the industry's focuses upon its 2021 post-COVID return, are working, even if there is still more to do.
The report also lays bare the work Broadway still has ahead to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadway sold 12.3 million tickets in the 2022-2023 season, a little under 17% less than the last full pre-COVID season in 2018-2019. Of those attendees, 35% were from the NYC area. That's more or less steady with 2018-2019 numbers in terms of the percentage, meaning Broadway will need to get more locals and more tourists into shows to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Also struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels is lead time. On average, theatregoers purchased tickets 34 days before the performance last season, down from 47 days in the 2018-2019 season.
The Broadway audience continues to be overwhelmingly female identifying—65% to be exact. The average age of a Broadway theatregoer was the youngest it's been in 20 seasons, and yet still middle-aged—40.4 years old.
It also appears that Broadway welcomes lots of repeat attenders. The average number of attendances by a Broadway theatregoer was four. Superfans who saw 15 or more performances made up just 4.9% of the audience, but accounted for more than 30% of overall ticket sales—3.7 million of them.
The League collects the data through extensive surveying in the form of audience questionnaires distributed throughout the season. The report is the 23rd since the group began collecting the data, one of many reports about the industry published annually by the League.
"While we are not yet back to pre-COVID attendance levels, audiences are returning," says Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin in a statement. "The demographics report revealed the highest percentage of audience diversity to date as 29% of attendees identified as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color). This is likely from a combination of outreach efforts as well as more shows being written and/or starring people of color."
Digital copies of the full report are available for purchase at BroadwayLeague.com.