Hamilton has significantly raised the prices of its best seats, while simultaneously increasing the number of cheap lottery tickets made available per show as a way to combat scalpers, The New York Times reports.
The hike will price Hamilton‘s premium seats (mostly center orchestra) at $849. The rest of the house will retail between $179 and $199 (they’re currently $139 to $177). But the show will now block out 46 lottery seats, instead of 21, all in the theater’s first two rows, and sell them for $10.
According to Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller, the show decided on the $849 tag based on the average ticket price on the secondary market. As creator Lin-Manuel Miranda noted in a recent op-ed for the Times, Hamilton tickets have been re-selling for egregious prices on sites like StubHub and Vivid Seats because third-party brokers can scoop seats using illegal automated software called “ticket bots” that can make purchases faster than the average consumer.
“In some ways, we’re taking from the rich to give to the poor,” said Seller. “There’s no question those premiums are subsidizing those $10 tickets.” The expanded lottery will allow 19,000 people per year to attend Hamilton for $10. The show has also teamed with the Rockefeller Foundation to help 20,000 New York City public high school students see the show for $10 as well.
Hamilton is sold out through January 2017. Producers have started selling tickets for the following four months to some American Express cardholders. Producers are set to start selling tickets to the public for the same period after the Tony Awards Sunday, where Hamilton was nominated for a record-breaking 16 awards.