More than 72,000 people attended 32 performances when Wicked returned to Tennessee Performing Arts Center March 26-April 20 and the show produced a local economic impact estimated at over $19 million, according to a statistical analysis by The Broadway League, the New York City-based national trade association for the Broadway industry. This estimate includes economic impact generated by patrons, tourism, hotels, dining at local restaurants, parking and more. It also includes the cost of local supplies and local labor involved in the production.
Wicked had performed three-week engagements in Nashville in 2009 and 2011 before returning for a four-week run this spring. The entertainment phenomenon remains among one of the most requested Broadway titles nationwide, and Nashville audiences are already anxious to have it return.
“Nashville loves Wicked, and we can’t wait for an opportunity to bring it back so audiences can see it again or new generations can experience the magic for the first time,” says Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC president and chief executive officer.
As a non-profit organization, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center books 10 or more weeks of Broadway performances each fiscal year, including the HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC season and other special performances like Wicked’s four-week engagement, to meet administrative costs and to support the needs of TPAC’s arts education programs.
“Not only does Wicked provide a significant economic impact to our community but it attracts thousands of new theatre lovers each time it’s here,” O’Brien says. “For many of those, it is their first exposure to live theatre, and it can foster a life-long love of the arts. That makes a big difference in our work.”
In an effort to raise funds for Nashville Cares and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Wicked company members produced as well as performed in “Wicked After Dark.” The event was held at Play on March 31 and raised over $13,000 to benefit both nonprofits.