NY State Governor announces that April 29th, 2020 will be the new target reopening date for NYC’s non-essential businesses, including Broadway theatres
On Monday April 6th, 2020, the New York State Governor announced that he is extending the closure of NYC and non-essential businesses, including Broadway shows until at least April 29th, 2020. This also happens to be one day before president Trump is planning to reopen non-essential business in the rest of the U.S., but many people believe that although these dates are well intended, they provide a false promise that is based on hope rather than fact.
The extension is due the continued global pandemic, COVID-19, which has continued to infect New York City at a rapid rate, like its very own laboratory petri dish. Currently there are over 118,000 positive Coronavirus cases in New York state and over 5,000 deaths have been caused by the virus in NY state. The virus’s infection curve has been petering off in NY recently and now only infects about 8,000 new people every day, down from the virus peak at slightly over 11,000 new cases per day. The recent decline is most likely due to all of the NY state schools now being closed for over two weeks and this may have been the largest contributing factor in halting the spread of the deadly virus outbreak in New York. The stats and figures referenced above are from the official CDC reports. The numbers may only be a small fraction of the actual number of COVID-19 cases living with the virus in New York as an infected person who does not get tested is not counted.
This new statement from Gov. Cuomo is his second official reopening date statement, with his first statement that was delivered on March 12th, 2020 and anticipated a reopening on April 12th, 2020. This time the planned date feels more assured, as the previous date was based on early speculation and not on hard facts and statistics about the virus. It still remains to be seen if NYC and Broadway theatres will actually reopen for business per usual on April 29th, 2020, as some pundits are understandably doubtful and expect the date to be much later.
COVID-19 Impact on the Broadway Industry
Broadway has been deemed to be a ‘non-essential business’ according to the state so it will probably open back up with the rest of New York City at a later time. The Broadway League has not yet made any new statements regarding the opening of Broadway shows since Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest remarks. Broadway theatres were originally scheduled to be reopened for live performances again, beginning on April 12th 2020, but the new projected NYC reopening dates will most definitely change this. Theatre-goers who purchased show tickets for performances between April 12th and April 29th, 2020 should expect all shows to announce that they are now cancelled and that their tickets will be refunded. Broadway producers have not yet formally canceled their shows, with the hopes that the pandemic will end much sooner than anticipated. During this time of crisis the NYC mayor, Bill de Blasio, has lost a tremendous amount of credibility due to his mismanagement of the pandemic in NYC. Business leaders and NYC residents are all now looking to the state governor, who has stepped in and kept the beleaguered NYC mayor out of the day to day decisions for the time being.
For Broadway shows, It should noted that on Monday, April 6th 2020, The Society of London Theatre made an official statement saying “West End theaters will remain closed through May 31st, 2020 to protect the people of the city”
Broadway Show Ticket Refunds
With the new reopening date now firmly marked at the end of the April calendar, the NY state governor may still be downplaying the length of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The real opening date for Broadway may likely be much later and closer to the beginning of June, 2020.
Ticketmaster, Telecharge, Roundabout, Ambassador Theatre Group and Second Stage Theater are the official Broadway show ticket sources and are now expected to fully refund all ticket purchases for Broadway show tickets for performances up until April 28th, 2020.