The show won’t go on until the summer of 2018, but tens of thousands of single tickets will go on sale this Friday morning for the popular musical “Hamilton” and a complete sell-out is likely within a matter of hours.
Denise Smithson Green, director of ticketing for the Des Moines Civic Center, says ticket sales will be extremely brisk and she wouldn’t try to predict just how quickly they’ll all be gone.
“We don’t know if they’re going to line up overnight but we do expect long lines at the ticket office itself and we also do expect a lot of online traffic and a lot of phone traffic,” Smithson Green says. “All three of our avenues for purchasing tickets in the past have always been high-volume when we have a popular show go on sale.”
There are tickets for three weeks of shows, eight shows a week. That’s 24 shows in a facility that seats 2,754. Smithson Green says she’s bringing in plenty of reinforcements to handle the crush.
“We’ve got four ticket windows that are going to be going. At the same time we have about 14 people answering calls, and then online, we’ll be filtering through as many as we can,” Smithson Green says. “We will have people that will stand in line, be on their cell phones and they’ll have a tablet to be online, all at the same time.”
Winning the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008, it’s the story of America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.
The Civic Center has hosted some wildly popular shows over the years, including “Wicked,” “The Lion King” and “Phantom of the Opera,” but will “Hamilton” be the biggest ever?
“Biggest is relative. Is it biggest in how fast it sells out? Is it biggest in dollar volume? Is it biggest in did we sell every single seat and how fast did we sell them?” Smithson Green says. “I will tell you, this will be our Super Bowl.”
Tickets range in price from $54 to $303. What does that most expensive option bring? “It gets you a seat right smack dab in the middle front of the hall,” Smithson Green says. “Those are what we consider the best seats in the house with the best visibility of the entire stage.” There is a maximum purchase limit of four tickets per household.
Smithson Green has already seen “Hamilton” twice, once in New York and again in Chicago, and she plans to see it twice more in Des Moines, if possible.
“It’s that good of a show,” she says. “I love that it gets a group of people who might not be your typical Broadway viewer excited about Broadway. It gets people learning about our history. It is a fun show with a lot of energy. I’m really excited and I’m a huge fan.”
Tickets go on sale at 9 AM Friday online, in person and on the phone. Service fees will apply to phone and internet orders. Smithson Green suggests if you don’t have an existing account with Des Moines Performing Arts, create one this week — before Friday. The performances will run June 27th through July 15th.
Hear the full interview with Denise Smithson Green below: