GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – The opening act of the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts appears worthy of a rousing ovation.

The Greensboro Coliseum Complex, which manages the center in downtown Greensboro, reported Wednesday that the first fiscal year of the center drew 415,521 patrons for 203 events.

The center raised its curtain on Sept. 2, 2021, delayed by nearly a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the report said its 17,414 season ticketholders were an industry record for a new venue.

Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts

The center, built for $94 million under a public-private funding program, seats 3,023 for a touring Broadway series, concerts, comedy shows, lecture series and orchestral events. The report said the center, despite having only a 10-month season, was able to meet its $2.2 million debt payment.

“Wicked,” the first Broadway show staged at the center, drew 66,000 patrons over its run, and then there were 65,000 who attended the 3-week stint of the megahit “Hamilton.”

“It has been wonderful to see the huge crowds in downtown Greensboro before and after Tanger Center events,” Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said in a release about the report. “The energy and excitement of having this beautiful new venue in our city has been amazing.”

The report said that The Broadway League, an industry insider, had assessed the economic impact of “Wicked” at $11 million and that “The Lion King,” which attracted 46,000, had a $12 million impact.

“The feedback we have received from performers, Broadway producers, event promoters and our patrons has been overwhelmingly positive,” Matt Brown, managing director of the Coliseum Complex, said in the release. “People have been blown away by the Tanger Center, its amenities and the impact it has had on the Piedmont Triad in just 10 months. We want to thank the capacity crowds that have turned out to support our first-year events and look forward to many more years of providing the very best in live entertainment for this community.” 

Tanger Center’s second season is underway, and its Broadway lineup includes “Book of Mormon,” “Frozen,” “Pretty Woman: The Musical,” “Jagged Little Pill” and the venerable “CATS.”