CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Broadway In Chicago, a Chicago- based presenter of live theatre and a joint entertainment venture between Live Nation and the Nederlander Organization, experienced breakthrough results from a comprehensive economic impact study concerning the vitality and prosperity of Chicago's Downtown Theatre District. The study, conducted by the economic consulting firm Fishkind & Associates, illustrates that since its founding in spring 2000, Broadway In Chicago has quickly become a vibrant, successful and major cultural leader in the region. Broadway In Chicago brings an economic impact of over $635 million annually to the City of Chicago and State of Illinois, and supports more than 7,500 local jobs.
A significant finding is Broadway In Chicago's position as a premiere destination for the city's many tourists and visitors. With an annual attendance figure of 1.5 million theater patrons, over 42% of audiences are traveling to Chicago from out-of-state to see long-running shows like Wicked. Broadway In Chicago theatre patrons occupy over 500,000 hotel room nights per year, more than the top 10 city conventions combined. Broadway In Chicago theatre patrons spend more than $75 million at local restaurants while visiting the area. Based on Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau statistics, Broadway In Chicago is the fifth most visited tourist attraction in the City of Chicago.
"The Economic Impact Study clearly quantifies the observations we have noted about our audiences over the past six years," says Broadway In Chicago President Lou Raizin. "We are proud of the results as it proves our work as a top provider of live entertainment has established Chicago as a theatrical destination market that supports not only the growth and success of the Downtown Theatre District, but extends to the City of Chicago and State of Illinois as well."
The results also further reiterate Chicago's rising stance as a landmark city for theatre and the arts. "Chicago has risen to the top of the theatre world in recent years, due in large part to the creation of our vibrant and dynamic Downtown Theatre District," says Mayor Richard M. Daley. "Broadway In Chicago is a leader in the Downtown Theatre District and, along with the long-running hit shows like the Chicago company of Wicked, is an economic engine that will keep our downtown alive and full of energy to come."
The success of long-running shows — anchored by the unprecedented smash hit Chicago company of the Broadway blockbuster Wicked — is a significant value leader in the study's results. Over 85% of out-of-town attendees at long-running shows cite a Broadway In Chicago production as the primary purpose for their visit.
"The record-breaking success of Wicked combined with the growth of the Downtown Theatre District has changed the way Broadway producers view Chicago," explains Wicked producer David Stone. "It is no longer simply a stop on the touring road. It has become, instead, a place where long running success can be sustained with the support of the City of Chicago and Mayor Daley. The future for Chicago as a national center for theatre looks very bright and everyone with Wicked is proud to be a part of the impressive results of this study." — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen