Want to score a ticket to the sold-out Beyonce concert at Madison Square Garden this month? It'll cost you only two extra bucks -- for now.
Thanks to a missed deadline in Albany, reselling tickets to concerts, sports events and other attractions at large markups is now illegal because state lawmakers haven't agreed to extend a ticket resale law that expired Monday.
The law had allowed unlimited markups on tickets since 2007. Proposed by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the aim was to let the free market rule. But some distributors have charged dramatically more than the original price for the hottest tickets.
For now, the previous law rules. Among its stricter provisions: Markups are capped at $2 over the face value of a ticket.
Lawmakers and Gov. David Paterson are negotiating now.
"For better or worse, ticket scalping is illegal again, thank goodness," said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat who had to sought to limit resale prices at no more than 25 percent of the face value.
In the bill that Paterson and legislative leaders are negotiating, that cap is gone and an agreement could make unrestricted markups retroactive to Monday. But the leaders are trying to end a price-inflating practice in which ticket sellers redirect customers to companies and Web sites that they own -- but that resell tickets at big markups.
The bill describes the practice as "wholesale off-loading of tickets ... without any chance for the public to purchase tickets at first sale." The bill passed by the Legislature would also require the venue operator or promoter to determine and disclose if the ticket is for a seat that may have an obstructed view.
"This is an opportunity for the governor to stand up for fans across New York," said Russ Haven of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "He can make sure they can afford seats for events at arenas like Yankee Stadium and Citi Field that New York taxpayers paid to build."
He was referring to government-backed finances and tax breaks granted for the development of the new homes for the Yankees and Mets.
This year, ticket distributor Ticketmaster was criticized for redirecting customers trying to buy Bruce Springsteen tickets to its own ticket reselling Web site, which charged dramatically more than the original price. Fans and musicians were outraged.
A week ago, New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram sued several companies who offered tickets to Springsteen shows this fall before they were available to the public.
In Albany, negotiations continue.
"The governor's office is working with the Legislature on this bill and will review the final legislation once it has been delivered to his desk," said Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook.