New York — The producers of "The Producers" are trying to outscalp the scalpers.
In an effort to undercut illegal ticket sales, the producers of the hit musical plan to set aside 50 tickets to each show and charge a staggering $480 a pop.
The decision was made after months of watching scalpers buy tickets and then resell them at an enormous profit.
The producers pledged to donate $150 from every $480 ticket to the Twin Towers Fund for several months.
"What we're trying to do here is strike a blow at the heart of the scalping operation," Rocco Landesman, one of the play's producers, told The New York Times. "The scalpers and their profits serve no one but the scalpers. Those monies belong to the people who created the show, pure and simple."
The current cost for a ticket to see the show is $100 for the most expensive seats, which is already the highest on Broadway.
The markup will be a first for Broadway, but the practice is common for luxury suites for sporting events and rock concerts.
Demand to see "The Producers" is still high, even with the drop-off that has struck most Broadway shows since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The target customer base for the $480 ticket will be "large corporations, first-class tourists and individuals seeking prime locations, frequently on short notice," according to an outline of the plan obtained by the Times.
The 50 new seats in the 11th and 12th rows of the orchestra and the first three rows of the mezzanine became available after a promotion the producers had with American Express expired Oct. 1. Other than those seats, the show is virtually sold out through the end of next year.
The show, based on the Mel Brooks film about two shady producers who try to fleece their backers, won a record 12 Tony awards earlier this year.
New York state law bars ticket resellers from marking up the price more than 20 percent.