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Release Date: Mar 20, 2012

For full report, click here.

(New York, N.Y.) -- A new report released today by the Times Square Alliance and HR&A Advisors shows that Times Square is responsible for generating $110 billion in economic activity, though it comprises only 0.1% of New York City’s total land area. The district generates 11% of the city’s economic output and 10% of the city’s employment, and its economic impact rivals that of mid-sized American cities such as Portland, OR and Pittsburgh. Times Square’s economic output over the past four years outpaced that of the City by double digits, while the City grew by 9% since 2007.

“Times Square’s success through tough economic times is due largely to our diversified economy, helping us to stay strong and grow jobs across an array of sectors,” said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance. “While finance, insurance, and banking markets contracted, slowing the City’s economy overall, the growth in areas like entertainment, hospitality and tourism reminds us of the value of investing in the travel and tourism sectors.”

Times Square supports a total of 385,000 jobs. 170,000 are in the district, and of those, 106,000 are in commercial offices occupying 29 million square feet, which is comparable to the downtown office districts of Philadelphia, Austin and Portland.  The amount of commercial office space increased 33% since 2002.

While the report focuses on the measurable economic impact created by Times Square, Times Square also drives economic activity through the hundreds of thousands of daily advertising impressions on pedestrians passing through the Square, and the billions of media impressions created by special events such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and New Year’s Eve, serving as a postcard for New York City in media and movies alike. 

Broadway theaters have been a major contributor to the ongoing economic success of Times Square. In 2010, they generated $1.04 billion in direct spending, and the total direct spending on entertainment is $1.27 billion.  Excluding stadiums, Times Square has more live entertainment seats – 56,000 -- than any other place of comparable geographic size in the world.

Times Square is a major economic driver for New York City:

  • Total annual direct spending on hotels, entertainment, and retail in Times Square is $4.8 billion.
  • Times Square contributes $4.6 billion in New York State and New York City taxes each year.
  • The district’s $2.1 billion contribution to New York City is enough to fund salaries and wages at all the city’s major welfare organizations, including NYC Heath, Children’s’ Services, Human Resources Administration, and the Department of Homeless Services combined. Alternately, that contribution could fund the Parks Department budget seven times over, or 46% of the total NYPD budget.
  • Times Square represents $6 billion in assessed real estate value and has 385,000 square feet of advertising space on 230 signs, generating over $60 million in advertising revenue. The assessed real estate value of Times Square has more than tripled since 1996.

More New Yorkers are living and working in Times Square:

  • The Times Square district employs 170,000 workers directly and supports an additional 215,000 jobs throughout the city.
  • Times Square is driving residential development west of 8th avenue, with 27% growth in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood since 2000.
  • Times Square employees are spread across the city, with 61% of NYC employees living in the boroughs outside Manhattan or in Manhattan north of 110th street. Major employment neighborhoods include Elmhurst (2,250 workers), Prospect Heights (1,795 workers), and Norwood (1,499 workers).

The Times Square is the center of tourism spending in NYC:

  • Times Square contains 17,000 hotel rooms – 21% of the New York market. These hotel rooms generated $1.8 billion in spending in 2010, up 13% from 2007.
  • While retail spending has declined since 2007, spending in the attractive sectors of “Eating & Drinking” and “Fashion & Accessories” increased by $140 million.
  • In 2010-2011, over 80% of Broadway attendees were from out of town.

The high pedestrian traffic, facilitated by the Broadway pedestrian plazas, has continued to make the district an ideal place for retailers to set up shop and for advertisers to spread their message. In 2012, the proposed redesign of Times Square will continue to make it a center of tourist activity and a post-card for New York City.

About Times Square Alliance
The Times Square Alliance, founded in 1992, works to improve and promote Times Square - cultivating the creativity, energy and edge that have made the area an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life for over a century. In addition to providing core neighborhood services with its Public Safety Officers and Sanitation Associates, the Alliance promotes local businesses; encourages economic development and public improvements; co-coordinates numerous major events in Times Square (including the annual New Year's Eve and Broadway on Broadway celebrations); manages the Times Square Visitor Center and Museum; and advocates on behalf of its constituents with respect to a host of public policy, planning and quality-of-life issues. www.TimesSquareNYC.org