Potential Legal and Anti-Competitive Practices Abound When Broadway Show Producers Charge Buyers Ticket Higher Prices If They Try To Use A Discount Code

Discount Ticket Hunters Charged More For Broadway Tickets

New York City is no stranger to taxing the poor with congestion pricing arriving soon, runaway costs on groceries and gas, and out-of-control rents. Now even Broadway show producers have found new ways to tax the poor.

It appears that some Broadway show producers are up to their pricing shenanigans again and for the second time in 2024, a Broadway show is charging ticket buyers - who attempt to use a discount code - a higher price for the same tickets than someone who does not use a discount code at all.

This ticket sales model goes against all business logic, but appears that Broadway show producers want to penalize poorer ticket buyers looking for a good deal and reward the richer ticket buyers who are not.

Broadway Ticket Holders

Second Time This Year This Phenomenon Has Been Seen

The phenomenon of charging discount-ticket-hunters a higher ticket price than regular ticket buyers - for the very same seat - has never been seen on Broadway before, until earlier this year when Barry Manilow's Harmony began penalizing ticket buyers who attempted to use a discount code. Tickets for this show were significantly higher when you attempted to use an official discount code, that was specifically marketed as a discount.

The ticketing company, The Shubert Organization, and the show producer had no comment at the time, and the show closed soon after. The New York State Attorney General's office could not figure out if this was a crime or not, as private companies can charge whatever they like to whoever they like.

By law, private organizations are allowed to charge higher prices to poor people, as it is not a protected class. It may be unethical, but its legality seems to favor the practice. If the ticket pricing was based on religion, race or sex, then it would be an issue, but not on wealth.


Lempicka Is The Latest Show To Offer This Disparate Pricing Model

The latest example of this phenomenon is Lempicka on Broadway, a musical written by playwright Carson Kreitzer, who based the musical on the real life story of the famous Polish painter and one of her favorite female heroes, Tamara de Lempicka.

When it comes to Lempicka tickets - when you buy tickets in the orchestra for dates in April 2024, the price for row K is $81.00. If you attempt to use a well promoted discount code LPDM1215 (a mailer promotion) for the very same seat on the Telecharge (the official ticket seller for this show), the price shoots up to $99.00. The discount code is no longer a discount - its a message to Telecharge to actually increase the ticket price for that buyer.

Broadway Ticket Buyers Expect A Fair Market

Its not unreasonable for Broadway show ticket buyers to expect a fair-priced ticket market. With this show going down this road, it does not fare well for the Broadway ticket market in general or for the future of the industry.

Being this is the second time this year we have seen this phenomenon, it must be a new strategy created by Broadway producers at the Broadway League, to get rid of poorer audience members as they make much more money from richer audiences.