The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) is officially pulling the wraps off of its Ticket MarketPlace retail ticket Web site Thursday, September 18....

The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) is officially pulling the wraps off of its Ticket MarketPlace retail ticket Web site Thursday, September 18.

NATB officials announced the creation of the site over the summer in Las Vegas during the trade association’s annual gathering of ticket brokers. It was built to give NATB member brokers another outlet to sell tickets, trading on the NATB’s reputation for being the watchdog for the secondary ticket industry.

How consumers will react to the site, which is very sparse in its appearance (See screenshot below), remains to be seen. The move could be considered a defensive one to try to help brokers, who are grappling with increased competition throughout the ticket landscape.

The Web site will be free for the public, and only NATB members in good standing will be permitted to upload ticket inventory for sale. NATB officials were hoping that about 150 brokers will have posted inventory by the time the site goes live.

The project is being spearheaded by broker Steve Parry, president of Golden Tickets, who emailed brokers today about the pending launch:

“The NATB Ticket MarketPlace will be officially launched tomorrow, Thursday, September 18, 2008. A press release notifying the public that NATB’s Ticket MarketPlace is live will be distributed via Business Wire and to media outlets including wire services (Associated Press and Reuters), national publications (USA Today, LA Times, Forbes, etc.) and regional publications (sports and technology reporters).

The website is a work in progress and is frequently being updated.”

Customers visiting the site will be greeted by the following message: “This “Ticket MarketPlace” site was created by NATB Members for the public to be able to buy tickets directly from a reliable source. All tickets available on this site are for sale only by NATB Member Brokers. This assures you that the tickets being purchased are from a source that provides consumer protection, confidence and a written guarantee, as provided by our Code of Ethics. There are no hidden fees or percentage charges added. The only additional charges would be possible required sales taxes and shipping charges. Just type in the event you’re looking for in the search bar below and enjoy the easiest search for tickets you have ever experienced!”

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By Alfred Branch Jr.