Unfortunately, DSO ticket sales do not cover the cost of DSO operations. No American orchestra is able to cover all its expenses through ticket sales. There are many variable factors, including performance frequency, concert venue capacity, cost to use or operate the venue, community pricing standards and values; but the average American orchestra covers between 20% and 40% of its costs through ticket sales. For the DSO, with a larger orchestra than most in its budget size, and relatively small performance venues, ticket sales currently cover approximately 20% of expenses. Indeed, the current average Classics Series concert’s direct costs amount to around $110,000. The Grand Opera House’s seating capacity is 1,066, with the stage extension (required for the DSO to fit) in place. That means each seat costs over $103, while the average ticket price is currently $45.
Therefore, in order to continue serving the community, the DSO depends on individual donors and corporate contributions.