‘Hamilton’ Tickets Are Still Ridiculously Expensive — But Why?

Anyone who’s taken a basic economics course understands the principle of supply and demand. The more people want something, and the less there is of that thing, the more that item is going to cost. In a nutshell, that’s the problem with tickets to see the critically acclaimed musical Hamilton on Broadway.

Hamilton
Hamilton | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

A bit of good news: tickets these days cost way less than they did a few years ago when the Hamilton obsession reached a fever pitch. At that time, it was impossible to score Friday night show tickets for less than $500 a piece… and that was for the terrible seats. Prime center orchestra seats were going for over $3,000 each.

Now ticket prices are a little more reasonable, especially if you’re willing to catch a weekday matinee. But going to see Hamilton with a friend will still cost hundreds of dollars. Is there any reason this Broadway show became so popular?

‘Hamilton’ was an unlikely success story

No one — including Lin-Manuel Miranda — could have predicted the massive success of Hamilton: An American Musical. The highly unique show combines hip hop, R&B, pop, soul, and traditional music to tell the classic tale of the Founding Fathers. The show is based on the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.

The musical began Off-Broadway in 2015 and was quickly selling out every night. After attracting tons of attention and getting nominated for the Drama Desk Awards, the show moved to its current home at the Richards Rodgers Theatre on Broadway the same year it premiered. And it’s been drawing huge crowds ever since.

The show is still so popular – but you can score cheap ‘Hamilton’ tickets

Instead of slowing down, Hamilton is still incredibly popular and attracting tons of attention. The Chicago production of the show opened in 2016 and a national Hamilton tour launched the following year. All along it’s been difficult to get tickets —unless you have deep pockets or celebrity connections. However, some people figured out the secret to finding cheap Hamilton tickets.

Show creators know the struggle is real and the last thing they want is for their show to only be attended by the rich and elite. That’s why they created a daily digital lottery of $10 seats. To enter, you just visit the site each day starting at 11 a.m. two days prior to the performance you’d like to see. If you’re one of the lucky winners, the tickets will cost you just $10 each.  

Is ‘Hamilton’ worth the hype?

Sure, Alicia Keys said it was “an AMAZING show” and Aaron Paul called it, “the greatest musical that has ever been written.” Even Barack Obama got in on the praise, saying, “[Hamilton] reminds us of the vital, crazy, kinetic energy that’s at the heart of America.” But is Hamilton really that life-changing?

That’s all a matter of opinion, of course. But the show has received worldwide recognition, especially for becoming so popular despite having a mostly non-white cast. The show achieved the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and took home a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations. Even years later, this musical is unstoppable.

Curious about the hype? Enter the lottery and potentially score those coveted $10 Hamilton tickets. Or just close your eyes and listen to the soundtrack, because that’s pretty good too.