Estimate: How much more can we expect Confluence tickets to cost?

V1 Staff

The fine folks at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center (who operate the State Theatre) have whipped out their calculators to crunch some Confluence Project numbers. Why, you ask? To answer a practical and important question: If and when the State Theatre is replaced by a completed Confluence arts center, will ticket prices go up?

The short answer is ... yes. Of course they will. We’re talking about a brand new, state-of-the-art arts center with a higher annual operating cost. The real question is how much more the average ticket will cost an attractive theatre attendee such as yourself.

As it turns out, not too much: On average, ticket prices at the new arts center would go up about $1.50 per ticket, ECRAC Executive Director Ben Richgruber estimates.

To make that calculation, ECRAC compiled a list of shows recently presented at the State Theatre by major local arts organizations such as the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre, the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild, and the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra. These groups currently pay rent to ECRAC to use the State Theatre as well as pay a $2 facility fee per ticket; ECRAC added up these costs and compared them with proposed prices to rent one of the Confluences center’s three theaters. The increase in cost per ticket would range from as low as 23 cents to as high as $2.72. The bulk of community performances would likely take place in the Confluence center’s mid-sized theater.

What about touring shows renting the State Theatre’s stage, such as recent shows by Tracy Morgan, David Sedaris, LeAnn Rimes, Arlo Guthrie, Trampled by Turtles, and the like? Well, you can assume those ticket prices will increase as well.

According to Richgruber, local organizations have at least three years to plan and begin any adjustments in their pricing strategy. And a few have begun price adjustments this season to ease into the eventual transition.

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