One of the biggest problems facing theater fans currently is ticket bots. These programs are written and used by many resale websites to quickly buy and relist tickets for popular shows such as Hamilton. Hamilton currently grosses about 2 million dollars a week according to broadwayworld.com with the average face value individual ticket price being about $200 a seat.
The New York Times, however, found that when Lin Manuel-Miranda was still starring in the titular role, scalpers were asking over $1,000 per ticket. In order to get some more information on the ticket bot problem of Hamilton, The New York times designed their own bot to track information on the stolen tickets.
Getting tickets is such an endeavor that Playbill.com has posted a list of the 8 best ways to actually obtain tickets. Number 1 on their list is still just buying them straight from the box office at face value Standard tickets start at $139 and Premium tickets start at $549. Unfortunately for me, the only way I’ll be able to go to Hamilton is if I win the lotto while I’m there for Thanksgiving or if someone gifts me tickets.
Miranda has taken a firm stance against bots by partnering with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to promote the BOTS Act (Better On-line Ticket Sales Act of 2016).
In an op-ed piece written for The New York Times entitled Stop the Bots From Killing Broadway, Miranda said,
To use another metaphor from “Guys and Dolls”: Big Julie is using loaded dice, and you and I do not have a chance. Tickets are taken out of circulation, punishing people who can’t afford to pay more than face value. The extra money doesn’t provide a better concert or show experience for you, the fan. Instead, it goes straight to the broker’s bottom line.
He sent out a call for action to all to call their representatives and since the article was published NY’s Ticket Bot legislation has passed.