World Series Parking

A few weeks ago, a St. Louis television station posted a story about parking costs increasing during the National League Championship Series.

The tagline asked “Is this price gouging?”  I had high hopes for the comment section, but maybe in this regard I am naive.

Why is this not price gouging? Well, it’s not price gouging because that is usually a myth perpetrated by economically ignorant writers, when in truth, it is basic economics.

Have you ever been to a golf tournament? Ever see people selling parking on their front lawn? These individuals are adding to the supply of parking. However, in big cities near baseball parks, the supply of parking is pretty much fixed. It may slightly increase if some companies rent out their employee parking lots for money, but they may want those spots. However, absent the ability to create tons of new parking spots, supply of parking largely remains unchanged.

Demand, however, changes dramatically. Sure, there are a fixed number of seats in a stadium, but unlike regular season games, this game is sure to be sold out. Additionally, there are thousands of individuals who want to go down to bid on tickets for sale by scalpers. Surely, they too need parking. Then there are individuals who want to be downtown for the atmosphere.

Demand skyrockets, but parking is scarce.

So, how do parking lot owners allocate the scarce amount of parking spots? The answer is price.

This isn’t price gouging, but rather, a functioning economy.

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