The domino theory has struck again. The latest version:
--The Lakers reach the NBA playoffs.
--The Lakers raise their ticket prices for the playoffs.
--The overflow lots at Hollywood Park and the Airport Park Hotel raise their parking fees, from $5 to as much as $10 per vehicle.
--The Laker playoff fans raise their hands in shock and dismay.
What's going on here?
Just good old-fashioned free enterprise. Supply and demand. Caveat emptor and all that. Let the parker beware.
"We have kept our parking prices in line with other off-site parking," Hollywood Park spokesman Jim Peden said Wednesday, acknowledging that the track had received a few indignant calls on the matter. "During the (Lakers' regular) season, we kept it (the parking fee) at $5, basically as a community service.
"Naturally, for playoff games when the Laker ticket prices are increased and other off-site parking facilities increase their charges, we feel it only reasonable to follow suit.
"The cost of maintaining our extensive parking facilities with the floodlights, security and so on is very high, and I doubt that even with the increased charge we cover those costs."
Peden said that while the cost of Laker tickets will escalate even further as the team advances to later rounds, the track does not intend to follow suit and raise parking fees again.
It costs $4 to park in the Forum lot during the regular season and the playoffs. Bob Steiner, director of public relations for California Sports, said the Forum relies heavily on its neighbors for help.
"Our position is that we appreciate and it is vital to the Forum that Hollywood Park and/or the Airport Park Hotel have made their facilities available for our spectators," Steiner said. "It's very important to us.
"We don't have adequate space to handle a sellout crowd. (But) what they charge for their parking is their business."