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‘Hamilton’ Tries New Sales Method to Battle Bots and Scalpers


Javier Muñoz, left, and Christopher Jackson in “Hamilton,” in 2015.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

“Hamilton,” the hit musical that has struggled to combat profiteering by scalpers, is trying a new tack with its next block of Broadway tickets: a technology from Ticketmaster that scrutinizes the purchase histories of potential ticket buyers in an effort to eliminate bots and high-volume resellers.

The show is the third on Broadway to declare that it will use the technology, Verified Fan, following “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which opens on Broadway next spring, and “Springsteen on Broadway,” Bruce Springsteen’s one-man show, which opens on Broadway this fall.

“Hamilton” implemented the technology Tuesday morning, inviting potential buyers to seek verification from Ticketmaster this week in order to qualify for an early opportunity to purchases seats at performances between March 6 and Aug. 19, 2018. Once verified, those fans will then be allowed to buy tickets starting Monday; the general public will be allowed to buy a day later, starting next Tuesday.

“This is a new effort to put tickets into the hands of theatergoers at regular prices,” said Jeffrey Seller, the lead producer of “Hamilton.” “We’ll always be fighting the resellers, because their incentive to keep trying is so powerful. Are we making progress? Yes. But is it foolproof? Not at all.”

The Verified Fan registration for the next block of “Hamilton” tickets ends at 6 p.m. Friday.

The “Hamilton” use of Verified Fan, which allows verified buyers exclusive access to a one-day pre-sale, is more limited than that of the Springsteen show and the Potter play, each of which appears to be planning to use Verified Fan for all individual sales.

The fan base for “Hamilton” remains very strong, two years after the show opened. It is grossing over $3 million a week on Broadway — more than three times as much as most other plays and musicals. And a phone app introduced on Friday, which is intended to allow the show to communicate more directly with its fans, was downloaded more than 500,000 times in its first 72 hours. Among the app’s uses: It will allow those seeking last-minute discounted tickets to enter digital lotteries in each city where the show is running.

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