According to a press release from the Metropolitan Opera, the organization is offering approximately 1,600 $25.00 tickets for weekend performances throughout the remainder of the 2008/09 season. The regular price for these tickets ranges $140.00 to $295.00 and the price difference is being counterbalanced through $3 million in donations from among Board’s 45 managing directors…
Based on information from the press release, it appears that approximately 1,600 subsidized seats are going to be distributed over 31 performances which averages to out to approximately 50 seats per show. In order to qualify for the special ticket price, the Met has established a lottery system that operates exclusively through their website.
It is particularly heartening to see an organization recognize the value in establishing a fundraising campaign targeted toward lowering ticket prices. At the same time, according the press release this offer is “in response to the recession” which would indicate that there are no plans to make the program an ongoing effort from one season to the next. Given the fact that the subsidized tickets only account for approximately 1.3 percent of available seats during each performance, they are in prime seating areas. As such, it would be ideal if the Met would see the value in making this subsidy a permanent part of their fundraising and pricing strategies regardless of economic conditions.
It will be interesting to see if the Met releases any data regarding the numbers of individuals that enter the ticket lottery, the number that follow through and pay for tickets, etc. At the very least, we’ll have to wait until the end of the season before any sizeable data is likely available. In the meantime, kudos to the Met for moving in a better ticket pricing direction that previous efforts this season.