If you’ve fallen in love with Hamilton and have been wondering how you can move the show from a passion to a profession, here’s an in you may not have considered. Or maybe you did consider it, but then realized you didn’t want to be a bottom-feeding miserable excuse for a human, draining the rest of society and crushing dreams.
As it turns out, one of the most lucrative jobs associated with the new hit show is that of the ticket scalper. Scalping has always brought in a good chunk of change, but Hamilton has been a game changer. Bloomberg reported some actual numbers today, and they’re… well, brace yourselves.
At least $30,000 from every show goes to ticket resellers instead of the musical’s investors, producers and cast, according to Matt Rousu, an economics professor at Susquehanna University. With eight shows a week, that comes out to $240,000 every seven days, or almost $12.5 million a year filling the pockets of brokers, he said.
TWELVE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS? That’s completely insane. And no one knows what to do about it. It’s not like anyone involved in Hamilton is exactly hurting, financially speaking, but that’s money that could and should be going to the people actually working on the show. Because it’s not like any of those tickets would go to waste. At any given time there are about 50,000 people looking to get into one single performance.
The run is sold out through January of 2017, and a huge part of that is these ticket scalpers, who use illegal software to buy up seats in bulk. Earlier this year, one broker used just one of these “bots” to buy 20,000 tickets, which are then resold for five times their original price or more.
Again, no one has any real solution to this scourge. As soon as these brokers get caught, they find new software. If CAPTCHAs are too tough to get around, they employ “typers,” huge numbers of actual people in foreign countries who type words into boxes to prove they’re not robots. Word is, producers may be nearly doubling the prices of premium tickets, from $549 to $995. Of course, that may do little more than raise the top scalped price from $2 or 3,000 to $4,000 or more.
So the next time you’re lamenting the lack of Hamilton tickets in your life (as if there’s a time, rather than a constant state of sorrow), you know who to blame. And depending on your lack of conscience, you may also have a new, ridiculously lucrative career path to look into.