The company began running mounting deficits in 2003. After flirting with leaving Lincoln Center for artistic reasons, it decided to stay when its longtime home, the New York State Theater, was given a major renovation and renamed for its benefactor, David H. Koch.
But going dark for the 2008-9 season while the theater was being rebuilt proved costly. The company lost a year’s worth of ticket sales just as its deficits were growing unmanageable.
That season, the troupe raided its endowment, withdrawing $24 million to pay off loans and cover expenses. The move, coming just when the endowment was already depleted by investment losses brought on by the financial crisis, had long-term repercussions: While the endowment once provided the company with more than $3 million a year in investment income, it now produces less than $200,000 a year.
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