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NYC Ballet PricesAudience Member Goes on Strike


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#196 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 05:57 PM

[One question - isn't the 5th ring just the upper most portion of the 4th ring?


If I recall correctly -- and it's been way, way over a decade since I sat there (for a Nutcracker)-- the 5th ring is a small tier of side-only seats situated above the 4th ring's tier of side seats. I think there's something like 34 or 36 seats up there in total. No center section, just the sides of the horseshoe.

#197 Helene

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:03 PM

If I recall correctly -- and it's been way, way over a decade since I sat there (for a Nutcracker)-- the 5th ring is a small tier of side-only seats situated above the 4th ring's tier of side seats. I think there's something like 34 or 36 seats up there in total. No center section, just the sides of the horseshoe.

That's what Fifth Ring is. They would be, at best, very limited view seats. I think they were meant to be akin to the score desks at the Metropolitan Opera, to hear the opera and not see the production, although I don't think Fifth Ring seats have lamps for score following.

#198 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:11 PM


If I recall correctly -- and it's been way, way over a decade since I sat there (for a Nutcracker)-- the 5th ring is a small tier of side-only seats situated above the 4th ring's tier of side seats. I think there's something like 34 or 36 seats up there in total. No center section, just the sides of the horseshoe.

That's what Fifth Ring is. They would be, at best, very limited view seats. I think they were meant to be akin to the score desks at the Metropolitan Opera, to hear the opera and not see the production, although I don't think Fifth Ring seats have lamps for score following.


Actually, they weren't too bad for observing the patterns if you happened to be seated in the seats furthest away from the stage..

#199 Quiggin

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:01 PM

Kathleen O'Connell:

Actually, they weren't too bad for observing the patterns if you happened to be seated in the seats furthest away from the stage..


Fifth ring was my regular choice for a long while - seats were priced a dollar or so below a movie ticket. After that, rows A & B fourth ($18.00), and even better, the sides of third ring.

There was a feeling of immediacy - albeit "partial" immediacy – to the fifth that the upper half of fourth ring didn't have. Always an eccentric group but you sat in single file, so there wasn't much interaction. Incredible that all that's disappearing.

#200 Roberto Dini

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:27 PM



If I recall correctly -- and it's been way, way over a decade since I sat there (for a Nutcracker)-- the 5th ring is a small tier of side-only seats situated above the 4th ring's tier of side seats. I think there's something like 34 or 36 seats up there in total. No center section, just the sides of the horseshoe.

That's what Fifth Ring is. They would be, at best, very limited view seats. I think they were meant to be akin to the score desks at the Metropolitan Opera, to hear the opera and not see the production, although I don't think Fifth Ring seats have lamps for score following.


Actually, they weren't too bad for observing the patterns if you happened to be seated in the seats furthest away from the stage..

I really only like the last seats in the fifth ring--the ones furthest from the stage, but prefer the fourth ring over all. And yes, I believe Helene is correct. There are no score lamps in the fifth ring unless you bring your own. :wink:

#201 Eileen

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:07 AM

Announcement: Ballet striker caves, capitulates, throws in the towel. I, who was filled with distress at the new pricing policies of NYCB, have reconsidered my position. After much earlier breast-beating and wailing, I am subscribing to an eight-ballet series, no less! Why? Because of my experience as a ballet ticket seller the other week. I had a Diana Vishneva ABT ticket greatly in demand, and I was getting very low offers for it. I refused to sell it for the lowball offers because I knew its true value. I did compromise, but at three times the lowball offers! I was looking for a prosperous looking person for whom my price would not be a problem and who would realize it was fair given the scarcity of the commodity.

Why was I selling the ticket? Because I needed the money more than I needed to see the ballet at that time. Now my ship has come in, I have married a rich man, my aunt has left me her inheritance (just kidding!) - actually, my experience of actually selling a ticket myself put an entirely different perspective on NYCB's strategy. It was a strategy to close the company's $6 million deficit by filling seats with affluent people (now me). They have decided, coldly to us buyers but reasonably to the sellers, that selling seats at $15 was just not the way to prevent the company from following in the footsteps or toe shoes of City Opera.

I want to preserve NYCB to dance another season, and by subscribing to a substantial number of ballets, I am acting on my recent comprehension of realities. Luckily I can afford it now that my diamond necklace has been pawned (just kidding) and I rented out my Nantucket cottage (also kidding).

#202 4mrdncr

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:07 AM

I haven't subscribed to either NYCB or ABT in the last couple years because of cost, schedule (I often have short notice of days off so I can attend a performance), or casting (at ABT I'm more particular). My NYCB tix have always been in the 4th Ring because it was the only way I could afford to go with the added transportation costs. So now I'm a little confused...If you are a subscriber, no 4th Ring available; but if not, you can still purchase a seat in the 4th Ring? Someone please explain, my two NYCB brochures didn't. And I'd like to get at least one ticket this season, but preferably not deplete all my savings to do it. Thanks to all who can respond.

#203 abatt

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:30 AM

My NYCB tix have always been in the 4th Ring ... So now I'm a little confused...If you are a subscriber, no 4th Ring available; but if not, you can still purchase a seat in the 4th Ring? Someone please explain, my two NYCB brochures didn't.


If you previously had a third or fourth ring subscription, they permitted you to renew it if you so desired. However, they purportedly were not selling any new subscriptions in those rings.

With respect all single ticket purchases, my understanding is that they will only sell you tickets in the orchestra, first or second rings for most performances, except for certain "popular" programs. For the "popular" programs, they will also sell third and fourth ring. No info has been provided on which dates the 3 & 4th rings will be open during the rep season. (I'm sure they will open every ring for Nutcracker.) The majority of the seats in the fourth ring are now priced at $129 and $89 for rep performances (subscriber price is slightly less). I'm not sure who they think will buy those obscenely over-priced fourth ring tickets for the popular programs.

Theoretically, there are $29 seats now in the orchestra, first and second rings. In practice, (a) it appears that they are very few in number and (b) many (most) of those $29 seat locations are in awful, partial view locations.


They have yet to announce what, if anything, they are doing for people who have been Fourth Ring Society Members. While I think that the $15 tickets they used to offer with the Fourth Ring Society pass were priced absurdly low, they have now gone to the opposite extreme of over-charging for most seats in the auditorium, in my opinion.

I agree with you that the brochure was useless. The one I received had NO PRICES. I'm not sure if they published a new one since then.

If anyone has a different understanding of the new price gouging system, or additional info, please post.

There is a big difference between making a profit and profiteering. I believe NYCB is engaging in the latter.

#204 Eileen

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 12:57 PM


My NYCB tix have always been in the 4th Ring ... So now I'm a little confused...If you are a subscriber, no 4th Ring available; but if not, you can still purchase a seat in the 4th Ring? Someone please explain, my two NYCB brochures didn't.


If you previously had a third or fourth ring subscription, they permitted you to renew it if you so desired. However, they purportedly were not selling any new subscriptions in those rings.

With respect all single ticket purchases, my understanding is that they will only sell you tickets in the orchestra, first or second rings for most performances, except for certain "popular" programs. For the "popular" programs, they will also sell third and fourth ring. No info has been provided on which dates the 3 & 4th rings will be open during the rep season. (I'm sure they will open every ring for Nutcracker.) The majority of the seats in the fourth ring are now priced at $129 and $89 for rep performances (subscriber price is slightly less). I'm not sure who they think will buy those obscenely over-priced fourth ring tickets for the popular programs.

Theoretically, there are $29 seats now in the orchestra, first and second rings. In practice, (a) it appears that they are very few in number and (b) many (most) of those $29 seat locations are in awful, partial view locations.


They have yet to announce what, if anything, they are doing for people who have been Fourth Ring Society Members. While I think that the $15 tickets they used to offer with the Fourth Ring Society pass were priced absurdly low, they have now gone to the opposite extreme of over-charging for most seats in the auditorium, in my opinion.

I agree with you that the brochure was useless. The one I received had NO PRICES. I'm not sure if they published a new one since then.

If anyone has a different understanding of the new price gouging system, or additional info, please post.

There is a big difference between making a profit and profiteering. I believe NYCB is engaging in the latter.


I did not purchase a subscription in the 4th ring, which is not available. They are selling subs only in orchestra, first and second ring. The brochure was inadequate. In small print, you were referred to the website, specifically, to nycballet.com/2012standard series for a complete list of standard series and the ballets the series contained. The brochure did list prices, but without further information (available on the phone) you were not able to properly evaluate what the prices represented in terms of seats. And the floorplan was broken up in such a way as to be confusing, especially with the orchestra aisles bisecting sections which were the same price, BUT! When you call 212-496-0600, they patiently explain to you exactly what rows and seats each colored price section includes, and if you take notes, you will have a better picture of what you are buying. Yes, it's complicated, but they are clear and patient on the phone. They are trying to encourage subscriptions rather than single tickets, so the price of a subscription ticket does include a discount over single ticket savings. I would never have subscribed, but for my own ticket selling experience. You can't understand another's position until you stand in their toe shoes.

#205 Drew

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:36 AM

There is a big difference between making a profit and profiteering. I believe NYCB is engaging in the latter.

They may be making fan-unfriendly decisions, but I don't think they can be accused of profiteering when they are currently running a multimillion dollar deficit.

#206 Helene

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:13 PM

[Admin Beanie On]

This topic has strayed far off course, and many posts have been removed.

Please post on topic. Thank you.

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#207 vipa

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:25 PM

I never subscribe because I don't go until I see casting. I know there was some kind of exchange thing but it always seemed too much trouble to me.

I wonder if, under the new system, a greater percentage of seats will be subscription, leaving us single tickets buyers at a disadvantage and thus pressuring us to subscribe.

Also I wonder if there will be any discount Atruim tickets.

This coming season will be a learning experience for us all.

#208 abatt

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:52 PM

According to the NY Times article of a few weeks ago, the company plans on raising ticket prices for certain performances based on demand. The quote is as follows:

"Its designed to have more accessible and affordable pricing throughout the house, Mr. Daniels said. The prices may change ahead of performances based on demand, he said, a practice now being followed at other performing arts institutions and some Broadway shows."


ABT also did this during the spring season, so that prices increased for certain performances where there was high demand as the performance date approached. However, since ABT published casting months in advance, I had already bought the vast majority of my tickets before any of the prices increased. There was only one performance that was a last minute purchase where I paid the higher "demand based" price.

Since NYCB does not publish casting until a week or two before the performance, they might be charging a higher price for certain performances by the time the casting info is published. The use of demand based pricing at NYCB is ridiculous, since NYCB has removed approximately 40 percent of the seats at the Koch from public sale by closing the 3rd and 4th rings. The closure of those rings will always create the appearance of an artificially high demand for seats in the orchestra, first and second ring for a performance. I think (but I'm not certain) that subscribers are entitled to the reduced subscriber price for all shows (not Nutcracker), even for high demand shows where they raise the price based on high demand. It's going to be a very, very interesting season.

#209 Eileen

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 03:48 PM

According to the NY Times article of a few weeks ago, the company plans on raising ticket prices for certain performances based on demand. The quote is as follows:

"It’s designed to have more accessible and affordable pricing throughout the house,” Mr. Daniels said. The prices may change ahead of performances based on demand, he said, a practice now being followed at other performing arts institutions and some Broadway shows."


ABT also did this during the spring season, so that prices increased for certain performances where there was high demand as the performance date approached. However, since ABT published casting months in advance, I had already bought the vast majority of my tickets before any of the prices increased. There was only one performance that was a last minute purchase where I paid the higher "demand based" price.

Since NYCB does not publish casting until a week or two before the performance, they might be charging a higher price for certain performances by the time the casting info is published. The use of demand based pricing at NYCB is ridiculous, since NYCB has removed approximately 40 percent of the seats at the Koch from public sale by closing the 3rd and 4th rings. The closure of those rings will always create the appearance of an artificially high demand for seats in the orchestra, first and second ring for a performance. I think (but I'm not certain) that subscribers are entitled to the reduced subscriber price for all shows (not Nutcracker), even for high demand shows where they raise the price based on high demand. It's going to be a very, very interesting season.


I'll call Monday and try to find out if subscribers' prices will apply to tickets outside of their subscription. I doubt it. Subscribers are being given, as an inducement, two vouchers for tickets to introduce new people to the ballet. I will ask on Monday if those ballets are going to be the abstruse, new choreography ones, or the ballets that newcomers wold actually like. It would seem counterproductive to introduce a new generation of students to "Moves" when West Side Story would be a lot more accessible to them. Subscription lady told me you are given a choice of ballets the vouchers are good for. I am waiting for a response from readers that Moves is just as fascinating as West Side Story. Controversy seems to follow me wherever I go....

#210 abatt

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 11:14 AM

I'll call Monday and try to find out if subscribers' prices will apply to tickets outside of their subscription. I doubt it.


From the NYCB Website, under Subscriber Benefits:

[size="5"]Subscribers get the best deal in the house with ticket prices as much as 20% off regular prices. This preferred subscriber rate is also applicable to any additional single ticket purchases you make throughout the season.

Purchasing additional single tickets: nycballet.com-registered users can purchase single tickets with this preferred subscription rate online, and all subscribers can purchase tickets with your subscription rate in person at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office with your Subscription ID Card or by calling the Subscription Hotline at 212-870-4260 with you Subscription ID Number.[/size]


The subscriber discount is pretty insignificant for certain price levels. The subscriber price is only $3.00 less than the full price tickets for the cheapest seats ($26 instead of $29) and $6 less than the full price tickets for the next cheapest tickets ($49 instead of $55). The dollar amount of the savings increases for each higher price level.


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