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Archive for May 19th, 2011

As early as last June, the entity that owns the parking garages around Yankee Stadium was facing significant economic distress. Despite raising rates (off inflated prices in 2009), the Bronx Parking Development Company reported dwindling revenues for the 2010 season. As a result, it was forced to use its debt reserve to make interest payments on the $237 million worth of tax-free bonds that were floated by the city to build the now mostly vacant structures.

Declining parking occupancy at Yankee Stadium garages has put the management company on the verge of default.

Since that initial report, Bronx Parking Development has continued to experience financial difficulty, so once again, the company decided to raise its prices. This time, the rates jumped to a whopping $35 for self-parking and $48 for valet, an increase of about 50% and 33%, respectively. Now, two months into the new season, comes word that occupancy at Stadium-area parking garages has plummeted all the way to 31%, a sharp decline from the already low rate of 60% in 2010.

Fittingly, the company’s decision to raise self-parking rates by 50% resulted in a corresponding 50% decline in occupancy. Apparently, the executives at Bronx Parking Development have never taken an economics course. Or, maybe they were just absent the day supply and demand was covered?

What the powers-that-be at Bronx Parking Development don’t seem to realize is the price for parking is very elastic. With cheaper car lots and free street spots located within walking distance as well as improved public transportation infrastructure, consumers don’t have to pay through the nose for parking. Add in the increasing cost of tolls and gas, and an inflated parking price becomes only the last on a growing list of incentives encouraging Yankees’ fans to leave their cars at home.

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