Average nightly attendance up 24 percent for NY City Ballet

Even though nearly 7,500 fewer people saw the New York City Ballet this summer, the average nightly

The New York City Ballet danced fewer nights but drew bigger crowds this summer at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Nearly 7,500 fewer people turned out to see the world-renowned ballet, which for more than 40 years has spent its July dancing for crowds at SPAC.

But while overall attendance was down, the average nightly attendance to the ballet increased by 24 percent over 2008.

The abbreviated two-week run, a week shy of the ballet’s usual three-week stay, saw 34,873 push through the turnstiles. In 2008, when 42,354 attended the ballet, the average nightly crowd was 2,017. This month, approximately 2,491 watched the ballet nightly.

Revenue from overall ticket sales was unavailable Wednesday but SPAC officials did release average single-night sales figures, which increased from an average of $56,040 per night for the 21-show schedule in 2008 to $66,786 per night for the 14-show schedule this year, a rise of 19 percent.

The crowds came in droves for “Coppelia,” which was celebrating its 35th anniversary. One of the only two ballets that SPAC co-commissioned from the ballet’s founder, George Balanchine, “Coppelia” drew 4,220 patrons on its opening night on Wednesday, July 15, which coincided with American Girl Doll night, and 4,626 at its matinee on Saturday, July 18.

“We are pleased and grateful that dance audiences turned out so strongly for New York City Ballet’s SPAC season. Clearly, the ballet’s outstanding programming, led by its spectacular production of “Coppélia,” was a major factor,” said Marcia White, president and executive director of SPAC, in a written statement.

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