The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) is hoping its new initiative to attract new members will swell its ranks to about 250 by...

The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) is hoping its new initiative to attract new members will swell its ranks to about 250 by the end of the year, according to the group’s president.

Ken Solky, NATB president and owner of LasVegasTickets.com, told TicketNews that the goal is grow the trade organization’s membership between 25 percent and 50 percent from it current 185, but he was quick to add that increasing the group’s numbers was not a reaction try to off-set its hefty annual expenditures.

15 for $15 with Napster!“We’d like for more brokers to become involved in what’s going on within the industry,” Solky said. “There was never a call or a discussion about needing to increase the membership in order to handle the NATB’s expenses.”

The 15-year-old national organization is virtually hemorrhaging cash, with expenditures for the year well exceeding $500,000 but member dues projected to be just over $200,000. The difference is being made up through assessments and other donations. The current two-month-long membership drive calls for new applicants to join the group for free, but they will be charged regular dues beginning in 2010. Depending on the size of a broker’s company, annual dues are $975, $1,300 or $1,625.

Since the launching of the membership drive at the beginning of the month, the NATB has received about a dozen new applications, according to Solky, and the group plans to advertise it with online banner ads on ticketing-related Web sites.

While he did not dispute the estimates of the group’s expenditures, Solky said 2009 has been the only year of stagnant growth, but prior to this year membership was growing at between 5 percent and 10 percent annually.

“The idea of raising our membership numbers doesn’t have anything to do with rising costs or stagnant growth,” he said.