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'Hamilton' Blamed For Hike In DPAC Season Tickets

DPAC, Durham, Broadway, Durham Revitalization

The Durham Performing Arts Center has been bringing renowned Broadway shows to the Triangle for a decade.  That might be the reason why season-ticket holders are paying a lot more for the 2018-2019 season.  It features the blockbuster musical "Hamilton."

When Sherri Holmes opened her DPAC season ticket renewal envelope she was shocked. Holmes is the Founder of Triangle Friends of African American Arts.  She says her single seat season ticket jumped to almost $900, up from $600 last season. That's a 50 percent hike.

"It's gone up every single year since we’ve been there, and now they’re able to go up so much because Hamilton is coming," said Holmes. "And so everybody wants to stick in, hang in with "Hamilton."

DPAC officials haven't said the reason for this year's hike is because of "Hamilton." But they do say they might not have the capacity to accommodate any more season ticket packages because of "unprecedented" sales last year. The DPAC website says there is a waiting list for season packages.

A DPAC news release states the performing arts center had a record 113 sellout events last year. The highest attended show in 2017 was the Rogers & Hammerstein classic "The King and I." DPAC has more than 18,000 season seat members.

Holmes says she will pay the higher price for her season ticket because she wants to see "Hamilton." But she still feels priced out.

"When Hamilton goes away, then are they then going to drop (prices) back to where it was? Or are they gonna say, we've got people paying this price, let's keep it there," said Holmes. "And that just makes you just have to think about whether or not you’re going to be able to have that season ticket."

A public on-sale date has not yet been announced for "Hamilton" tickets.  "Hamilton" will be performed at DPAC Nov. 6 through Dec. 2.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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