May 26, 5:08 PM EDT

Broadway's box office and attendance figures both up this season to record highs


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NEW YORK (AP) -- Broadway's revenue and attendance figures both hit record highs for the third season in a row, fed largely by premium prices and a steady stream of more shows.

The Broadway League said Tuesday that box offices reported a record total gross of $1.36 billion - up from $1.27 billion from the previous season. The trade association for theater owners, operators and producers said attendance was up 7.3 percent to 13.1 million.

The numbers were boosted by steadily increasing ticket prices, high demand from tourists swelling Times Square, reconfigured seating in some theaters, easier tools to buy tickets and the use of premium-priced seating, in which some tickets are snapped up for very high amounts.

The number of playing weeks - Broadway's occupancy rate - was up 8.7 percent from last season's 1,496 playing weeks to end at 1,626 playing weeks. There is a total of 2,080 total playing weeks available each year.

A total of 37 shows opened during the season, which began May 26, 2014, and ended Sunday. There were 15 musicals and 20 plays and two special events.

"We're giving theatregoers what they want, including a variety of musicals and plays, recognizable brands and new shows. We have stars, we have kids; we have some of the best ensemble casts ever on Broadway," said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League.

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