CriticalDance Forum

NYC Ballet 2011-12 Subscription Pricing
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Author:  JimTuller [ Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:16 am ]
Post subject:  NYC Ballet 2011-12 Subscription Pricing

NYC Ballet has set spectacular price increases for next season. Some seats will cost nearly four times as much as they did this year. The last row of the fourth ring, at the very top of the building, has many seats that will cost $129 for a single ticket, $103 by subscription.

The new complex schedule charges higher prices for seats anywhere near the center, broadly defined, at all levels in the building. The precise boundaries of these sections are indicated only approximately on the materials published so far.

The company evidently was somewhat nervous about the new plan. I received a letter, dated May 11, 2001, which stated, "'ll soon receive your subscription renewal package." It went on to say, "you'll note some important changes we've made to the theater seat map. Our goal in making these changes is to enhance the audience experience at New York City Ballet performances." It continued, "Please take time to read these materials carefully when they arrive."

What was most remarkable, and insulting, was that when the package finally did arrive, it contained no pricing information. The standard, familiar renewal form contained no seating information. Instead, it said: "Please see message below."

The message was: "We've recently made changes to the theater's seat map, and we may be able to offer you an upgraded alternative to your current seat location for this series. Please call ..."

I called to request pricing information, and received the new schedule by mail. Although I've been in the audience for 35 years, I won't accept a 72 per cent price increase. I'm going on strike. I won't be renewing for next season.

Author:  ksneds [ Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NYC Ballet 2011-12 Subscription Pricing

I'm sorry to see prices rising so much, but NYCB has tended to hold back on price increases (unlike other companies) in recent years. And they're in the red now, so they probably don't have a lot of choice. I suspect they're regretting not making more reasonable price increases over a period of years. It will be interesting to see whether this really helps or whether it drives away loyal balletomanes like you.

They certainly are really not making matters any better by the confusing prices set up - and worse, the link to the subscription price page is not working. I always liked the way that they had kept ticket pricing simple, but now they're creating a zillion different price ranges, and at least for the pick-your-own subscriptions, calculating different prices for each combination.

As to $129 for a 4th ring seat (other than A&B) - I think that may be for a whole subscription series or a misinterpretation. Playing with the subscription set-up, there are some very expensive seats in the 4th ring, even in the D price range, but none quite that high. Rows A&B have always been much more expensive.

I had heard that single ticket prices, other than for special events, were supposed to start at $29 in the 4th ring, so it seems silly to price themselves so high for subscriptions. But it doesn't bode well for the 4th ring society, because it's hard to justify such high prices if you're selling seats at 4th ring society prices.

Honestly, it looks like waiting for single tickets may be the better option. You can see the price structure more clearly, and if NYCB really screws up with the subscription pricing, they may have a lot of tickets to sell and not care so much about getting a top price for them. Better to fill more seats at lower prices than many fewer seats at really high prices.

Author:  JimTuller [ Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NYC Ballet 2011-12 Subscription Pricing

I am looking at the 2011-12 price list, (which I had to request by telephone, as it has not been published yet on the website,) and I can confirm, absolutely, that the price for a single ticket in the last row of the fourth ring, anywhere between the two aisles, and also for some seats outside the aisles, is $129 for non-subscribers and $103 for subscribers. Again, that is a single ticket, not a series.

I just returned from the theater, which was, more or less, half full, and I can report that the subscribers are positively seething. Volunteers and ushers confirmed to us, privately, because they are not supposed to discuss it, that they have received countless inquiries from subscribers who are expressing equal parts of anger and disbelief.

I recognize many subscribers by sight, having seen the same people for many years, and during the intervals they all were gathered in small groups, pointing to various seat locations, engaged in animated, and I must repeat the word, for there is no other suitable description, angry discussion.

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