During A Snow Storm Or Blizzard, Broadway Shows May Close. How Do They Announce Closing? Do Buyers Get A Refund On Their Tickets? Do Some Broadway Shows Still Perform?

Heavy Snows in NYC May Cancel Broadway Shows

New York City is no stranger to heavy snow storms, so Broadway shows are always prepared to cancel performances when the need arises.

At What Time Do They Cancel A Broadway Show?

Broadway shows will often announce a performance cancellation due to snow or blizzard conditions at 1PM for the evening 7PM or 8PM performances.
For a matinee show, they will announce the night before the performance, or at 8AM on the day of the show. On rare occasions they have waited until 2 hours before the show, but they know many people will be upset.

Times Square NYC in a Snow Storm
Times Square NYC in a Snow Storm

Why Do They Cancel a Broadway Show Due To A Snowstorm?

The show can be cancelled for any of the following reasons

  • The New York Subway stops running
  • The Mayor directs all NYC businesses to close for public safety
  • The theatre is unable to clear the snow from the sidewalk outside their entrance
  • Actors, or crew are not able to get to the theatre
  • The power or heat is out

How Do Broadway Ticket Buyers Get Their Money Back? Are Tickets Refunded Automatically?

Ticket refunds are processed automatically and buyers do not need to do anything.

Rockefeller Plaza NYC in a Snow Storm
Rockefeller Plaza NYC in a Snow Storm

Can Ticket Buyers Reschedule For Another Date?

If the buyer wants to reschedule after a snow cancellation is announced, they must contact the ticket vendor ASAP, otherwise their tickets will be refunded.

Does The Show Still Go On Despite The Cancellation?

Yes, sometimes Broadway shows can still perform in a snow storm, even though the performance may have been officially cancelled. The Broadway League may announce all Broadway shows are closed due to snow, but individual shows still have the right to still perform if they can. They do make ticket holders turn up if they do not want to. No-shows are refunded in this situation.

If all the actors and backstage crew make it into the theatre, the show will often still go ahead for anyone that does actually make it in. If this happens they often sell discount tickets at the door to fill the empty seats in the theatre. This has happened in the past at nearly all the top shows on Broadway.

TKTS Ticket Booth Times Square NYC in a Snow Storm
TKTS Ticket Booth Times Square NYC in a Snow Storm

Who Decides To Cancel Performances?

The decision to cancel a show is done on a 3 way conference call between the individual shows, The Broadway League and the NYC Mayors Office. Cancelling a show due to the snow is a huge loss to the show, so they avoid it as much as they can.

Who Announces The Cancellation?

The announcement will come from the individual show or from The Broadway League, or both. The Broadway League is a trade association for the Broadway industry at represents all Broadway Shows. Any one show may still go against any Broadway League announcement - this has happened many times.

George M Cohan Statue in Times Square in a Snow Storm
George M Cohan Statue in Times Square in a Snow Storm

How Many Times Has All Broadway Closed Due To Snow?

The following are the list of years since year 2000 when all Broadway shows were closed due to snow storms or blizzards:

  • Winter Storm Quinn March 07, 2018
  • Winter Storm Grayson January 04, 2018
  • Winter Storm Stella - March 14, 2017
  • Winter Storm Jonas (AKA Blizzard 16) Saturday, January 23, 2016
  • Winter Storm Chris March 15, 2015
  • Winter Storm Juno (AKA Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse) January 25, 2015
  • Winter Storm Knife (AKA Snowvember) November 13–21, 2014
  • Winter Storm Double January 26, 2011. 19 Inches of snow
  • Boxing Day Blizzard December 26, 2010. 26 Inches of snow
  • Snowicane February 25, 2010. 21 Inches of snow
  • New York City Blizzard February 11, 2006. 27 Inches of snow
  • Presidents Day Blizzard February 16, 2003. 22 Inches of snow