Coming off a successful membership drive last fall, the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) is making a new push for more members, and a plea to replenish its depleted legal fund.
While the group’s work on behalf of brokers who opposed the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger did not totally drain the legal budget, it put a huge dent in it, according to officials.
Ken Solky, owner of LasVegasTickets.com and president of the NATB, told TicketNews that the group spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in 2009 fighting the merger, fees that went to a team that included a lobbyist, an attorney and a public relations group.
During the Q&A segment in a panel on legal and government issues at the recent Ticket Summit in New York, NATB vice president Joel Schwartz, owner of Big Time Worldwide, placed the figure at about $25,000 per month.
“With our dues renewal for 2010, we’ve suggested members also give to the legal fund, though it’s not mandatory,” Solky said, adding that the broker advocacy group has a low attrition rate of less than 10 percent per year. “I think the membership understands and is grateful for these efforts.”
In addition to the merger fight, the NATB found itself also advocating on behalf of brokers in several states last year that were considering changes to existing, or new, anti-scalping laws. And, the group also found itself in a dust-up with Wynn Resort and Hotel in Las Vegas, where it had held its annual meeting in past summers, after the hotel took a decidedly anti-broker stance with its Garth Brooks residency concerts.
Last fall, the NATB waived initiation fees for several months in an effort to attract more brokers, a move that helped push its membership well beyond 200, according to Solky, though he did not know the exact number.
Annual dues, which are collected after the first of the year, range from $950 to $1,600 depending on the size of the company, and Solky said that the group has already collected dues from more than 60 percent of the members, which is ahead of past years.
“Our renewals are coming in at the best pace ever,” Solky said.