NTRA Relying Less on Membership Dues

The NTRA is relying less on membership dues to fund its annual budget.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has adopted a $9.1 million budget for 2011 that relies less on dues from members and more on revenue from other programs.

The board met Dec. 6 in Tucson, Ariz., to adopt the budget, which also anticipates $9.1 million in expenses. Revenue sources include membership dues, $3.4 million; sponsorship and group purchasing, $2.7 million; promotions, $2.3 million; and the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, $700,000.

Marketing and promotions will account for $3.4 million in expenses, followed by $2.6 million for sponsorship and group-purchasing fulfillment, $1.3 million for general and administrative costs, $1.1 million for legislative advocacy, and $700,000 for the safety alliance.

The NTRA lost two major dues-paying members in Churchill Downs Inc. and MI Developments this year. Both have said they could revisit the decision, but their contribution—roughly $700,000 combined—isn’t included in the 2011 spending plan, NTRA vice president of communications Keith Chamblin said after the board meeting.

“It’s a lean budget, but there’s no doubt we’ll be able to sustain and grow our programs,” Chamblin said.

Chamblin said CDI has notified the NTRA it does plan to participate in the Safety and Integrity Alliance accreditation program. CDI-owned tracks accredited in 2009 are up for another review in 2011.

Though CDI no longer is a member of the NTRA, its president and chief executive officer, Bob Evans, said Dec. 7 in Tucson the industry’s efforts to improve racing safety and inform the general public of those efforts is one of the major positives in horse racing.

NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop said the organization is keeping with its mission to rely less on membership dues.

“We are evolving as an organization into one that has multiple sources of revenue,” Waldrop said. “We’re funding the organization in a way that gives us independence.”

NTRA officials said the focus in 2011 will be on legislative advocacy on a national level; safety and integrity; marketing; and group purchasing.