History of Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth and Bleachers

Times Square Ticket Booths

Our History of Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth and Bleachers article will take a very close-up look at the very interesting history of the ticket booths in Times Square. Is there any doubt that the most famous intersection in the entire world is the intersection of Broadway and 47th Street in New York City? Some may argue the intersection of Broadway and 46th, or 45th, or all the way down to Broadway and 42nd.

All of Times Square is a spectacular and stunning arena of neon lights, shady cartoon characters in dirty costumes, overpriced food, rip-off tourist scams, and bundles of fun for everyone. It’s all surrounded by the greatest theatrical productions in the world. In simple terms, it’s the most extravagant bow tie-shaped intersection in the entire known universe. Sounds over the top? Well, this is New York Baby!

There is no better place to view the hordes of people intermingling among themselves than from the Red Glass Bleacher Seats built upon the TKTS Ticket Booth in Times Square. Photographers have a clear pigeon’s eye view of the cast of characters surrounding the tourist. Of course, that’s not to mention the breathtaking view of Times Square while actually standing in Times Square. Here’s how it all began.

The Red Glass Bleacher Seats that currently stand in Times Square have not been around for that long. In 2009, a brand new Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth was opened at the intersection of Broadway and 47th Street. The original Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth had been there since the days of Mayor Lindsay in 1973. However, in 1999. it was announced that a new Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth along with a renovated Duffy Park would be launched to celebrate New York City Culture.

The small parcel of land at 47th street and Broadway had been named Duffy Park after the Rev. Francis P. Duffy. During World War I, the Rev. Francis P. Duffy served as Chaplin to the 69th New York Infantry regiment. The statute at the bottom of the Red Glass Bleacher Seats stands in tribute to the Rev. Francis P. Duffy.

It took eight years after the announcement in 1999 for the new Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth to open. Many issues with contractors and other bureaucratic circumstances delayed the opening of the new beautiful booth. However, the wait was all worth it. Many talented people were responsible for the design and construction of the booth and stairs. The architectural concept of the building was created by John Choi and Tai Ropiha. It was a brilliant concept on which the beautiful red glass steps would be built as the roof on the ticket booth. Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners were hired to provide the structural design behind the project The landscape architect on the project was William Fellows.

The new Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth featured many more ticket windows than the older ticket booth. The new TKTS Booth hosts 12 windows for fans looking to purchase Broadway tickets. As any fan who has spent hours waiting in line would attest, every extra open window can make a huge difference in wait time. The entire Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth is encased in a fiberglass shell that is somehow modernly charming. People flock to the Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth because it’s the only place where one can legally buy same-day Broadway Tickets for regular prices. Any tickets brought at the Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth must be used for that day’s performance. Broadway shows sell out months and even years in advance.

The Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth offers fans a chance to see a Broadway play without having to wait forever for tickets. There are long lines, but New York is all about lines. And what’s the big deal, there is so much to see while waiting in line, the time passes nicely and quickly. Once you have brought your tickets, all you have to do is walk around to the red bleacher seats to take relax for a bit and take in Times Square.

Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth

Photo: By Jim.henderson (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The red glass bleacher seats are attached to the booth as the facility’s roof rises sixteen feet above the ground. The are 27 steps to the top row. The seating capacity for the entire seating section is supposedly built to hold 1500 people at a time. However, that seems to be an extremely high estimate. The stairs can get extraordinarily crowded while hosting just a few hundred people.

At night, the Times Square TKTS Red Glass Bleacher Seats are lit up by a series of wonderful led lights that provide ample light to make one feel at least a little more secure. However, it’s the city and as much fun as it can be, one must always be aware of their personal space in order to keep safe. The bleachers are great, but they do get crowded so be careful.

Times Square has changed dramatically since the 1970s. It continues to change every couple of years as the city adapts to a tourist industry that grows on a monthly basis. Broadway is one of the city’s top attractions. If you’re coming to New York City and you don’t have Broadway tickets, the TKTS Tickets Booth in Times Square is waiting for you.

Times Square Bleacher Seats

Photo: Brian Kachejian

Feature Photo: Patrick Duffy Square and The Red Glass Bleacher Seats. Photo: Brian Kachejian ©

History of Times Square TKTS Ticket Booth and Bleachers article published on ClassicNewYorkHistory.com ©2023

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