Skift Take

The tourist footfall is so high and increasing, that ads for the eyeballs, not rent, makes Times Square so lucrative.

When the Times Square ball drops New Year’s Eve to ring in 2013, it will do so over a Manhattan office building that is mostly empty. Yet, it is minting cash.

The 25-story tower is doing a booming business as a billboard…From sign rentals alone, the small trapezoidal building at One Times Square takes in more than $23 million a year in revenue, the documents say.

Dunkin’ pays $3.6 million a year for a Dunkin’ Donuts digital sign that often shows photos of fans who send images to the company’s Facebook page.

WSJ 2: The New Year’s Eve ball drop ceremony is rather expensive. In recent years, the owners have spent more than $2.4 million annually to host the event, although the cost is offset by the $2.5 million to $3 million in revenue the event creates, in part from sponsorships.

In addition, signage revenue is still on the rise at the building. It’s gone from $17 million in 2009 to about $23 million in 2012. Next year it’s expected to be more than $24 million.

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Tags: nyc, times square

Photo credit: It is these horde of tourists that make the high price of billboards on One Times Square worth it. Dan Nguyen / Flickr.com

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