By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Those who study urban revival are quick to say that no one development, attraction or centerpiece will singlehandedly bring success to an area. So, 10 years after it opened, the new Hippodrome is one important piece in a stronger downtown.

Mike Schuh has the story.

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The appeal of the Hippodrome is: Why travel to New York when we’ll bring Broadway to Baltimore–in a nicer theater too.

“Well, welcome to the Hippodrome. It’s really one of the most amazing vaudeville houses that was built,” said Ron Legler.

The theater’s new president is fresh from convincing Floridians to seek culture in Orlando.

This is Legler’s first season programming for the gorgeous 100-year-old house of 2300 seats.

“And I’m really proud,” Legler said. “Some of the most latest Broadway productions are coming to Baltimore. And you know we only bring the national tours from Broadway, and it’s the same creative team, the same producers that they bring to New York.”

He is excited for the revival of Broadway’s most successful musicals: “Pippin.”

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“You know Broadway is in your own back yard. It’s in your own city. We need to be very proud of that,” Legler said.

Legler brings a fresh perspective to town; he is effusive about Baltimore’s strengths and future.

“The first reaction is ‘why would you move to Baltimore from Florida?’ but as someone who came in not knowing anything about Baltimore, all I see is amazing progress,” he said.

Shows of high quality are thought to be expensive. But Legler will sell you a season ticket to three shows for under $82.

“The tickets start at $81-75 for the entire season ticket package,” he said.

And it’s working. The Hippodrome has nearly the largest pool of season ticket holders for any theatre in the country.

And if more people sign up for that deal, this will continue to be a hot ticket in this town.

In addition to the eight touring Broadway shows, there will be 15 concerts at the Hippodrome this year.

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