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Originally published Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:06 PM

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Super Bowl a bust for Broadway

Shows, including tourist-beloved stalwarts such as “Wicked” and “The Lion King,” take a big hit during Super Bowl week as football fans stay away.

AP Drama Writer

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NEW YORK — Super Bowl week turned into mostly a super bust for Broadway.

Data from The Broadway League shows box office grosses declined $2.4 million and ticket buyers fell by more than 15,000 for the week ending Sunday, despite the influx of thousands of tourists descending on the New York City area for the big game.

The week ending Sunday brought in $16,714,694 and 183,092 in attendance, the League said Monday. The week before, the League reported a haul of $19,122,428 for its 26 shows, with 198,773 in attendance.

Most shows took a hit in both revenue and ticket buyers, and even the stalwarts on Broadway fell: “Wicked” tumbled $195,674 from the previous week, and “The Lion King” lost $315,444. Both lost more than 1,000 patrons, too.

One bright spot was the Mark Rylance-led Shakespeare’s Globe productions of “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III,” which grossed $907,000, a new one-week record for the Belasco Theatre.

Broadway producers tried to grab the attention of football fans crowding Times Square with a two-for-one ticket promotion and performances around Times Square by such shows as “Pippin,” “Newsies,” “Motown the Musical,” “Rocky,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Chicago.” The casts of “Jersey Boys” and “Rock of Ages” played outside MetLife Stadium in the hours before the game. Many Broadway shows altered their show schedules to take advantage of the crowds.

Three current and former NFL stars — Randall Cobb, Joique Bell and Ahman Green — even made their Broadway stage debuts in small parts in “Rock of Ages” last week. But for all that, the show’s box office declined $61,660 to a total of $289,178 over eight performances.

Even a rare show about sports — “Bronx Bombers” about the New York Yankees — failed to be a home run with so many tourists in town for the big game. The show fell $20,085 from the week before to pull in only $137,015.

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