New York City Ballet has decided to stop selling most of the low-priced tickets. It is part of a strategy of changing ticket prices and limiting access to certain parts of the theatre to help consolidate its audience in the rest of the theatre for less-than-full performances. This move will eliminate scattered pockets of people and create a more “vibrant performance atmosphere,” the company said.
The Fourth Ring Society, a company-sanctioned program that offered $15 seats once a $20-per-season fee was paid, is effectively ending. Current members will be offered discount seats at roughly $15 in different areas of the theatre, and new memberships will not be available. Single tickets to the third and fourth rings will be offered only if there is enough demand in the 2,600-seat theatre for a particular performance. When the fourth-ring tickets do go on sale they will be very much more expensive: they’ll range from $29 to $129 instead of last season’s $20 to $55. The third ring will go up similarly. That means that for popular titles like “Swan Lake”, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Nutcracker” the pricing will be at it’s highest.
The changes are part of a rethinking of ticket pricing, in which prices have been raised for certain seats throughout the house, but also lowered in certain sections, as the company wrestles with an expected $6 million deficit this season.