Broadway theatergoers bought a record 12 million tickets in the 2005-2006 season, and nearly 32 percent of those were bought over the Internet, according to findings released by The League of American Theatres and Producers.

The information in the League's report The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2005-2006 is derived from 6,174 questionnaires that were given to audiences at Broadway shows and then returned to the League. Among the other significant findings by the League were that the average age of the Broadway theatergoer was 42 and that women accounted for 62 percent of the audience and were the primary decision maker in which shows to see. Total attendance for the season was 2.29 million, a marked increase from the previous year's total of 2.05 million.

This year marks the first time in history that Internet sales topped other purchasing methods, including theatre box office (28.9%), telephone charge (14.4%) and the TKTS Booth (14.4%), which was a particular favorite of international visitors, who accounted for 11 percent of the Broadway audience. Just five years ago, the Internet only accounted for 7% of ticket sales.

In deciding which shows to see, personal recommendations and critics' reviews topped the list of influential factors, although musical theater audiences were often swayed by the desire to see a particular performer.

New York City residents saw an average of 7.1 shows per year, more than any other group. However, New York City residents accounted for only 19 percent of the Broadway audience. But when one figures in Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, the total rises to over 60 percent.

"In the latest report, we are particularly pleased to highlight that tourism continues to be trending upwards, comprising 57% of the 12 million tickets sold last season," says Charlotte St. Martin, the League's recently appointed executive director. "Significantly, our efforts to bring back foreign tourists, who are a vital part of the Broadway audience, and contribute significantly to the city's economy as a whole, have yielded great results."