During our educational years, we may have learned about supply and demand. However, when do supply and demand become price gouging? It was mentioned that the NRG Stadium in Houston where Superbowl LI took place had bottled water priced at $6 each and a cup of soda at $11 each. Popcorn was listed at $15, and a scoop of ice cream was $11. Yes, we have perhaps witnessed an event where prices are so out of control or bizarre that we avoid concerts or supporting the arts altogether.
It is bad enough that our supply and demand needs currently have us paying an average cost of a movie ticket at $10 or more only to be punished by having to watch a barrage of movie trailers and commercials just to get a decent seat. The snack bar at theaters is no secret to a majority of us that already see skyrocketing popcorn prices and basic drinks starting prices as if we are at a Superbowl event. The sad part is that we pay those ridiculous prices.
There was a time where people would come together and enjoy events without such unreasonable prices. Concert or event tickets are controlled by ticket companies that levy additional fees. We are merely left at the mercy of either paying for it or hopefully watching it later on an HBO special or DVD. Personally, I do not mind convenience, but I do mind being exploited. Exploitation of supply and demand methods eventually harm the intended purpose. For example, Circus prices became so expensive as well as souvenirs that it crippled its business model and became bankrupt. Some states have price gouging laws. However, it is hard to prosecute and enforce.
I support for free enterprise and competition. However, I am wary where supply and demand become exploitative and diminishes an event that has an ability to bring people together. A bucket of regular standard unflavored popcorn should hardly cost $15. A basic cup of soda should not cost $11. Then again, parking at an event should not cost $20. We should reassess a fair market system where supply and demand in a public setting are equitable and reasonable for all. Otherwise, stadiums and certain events create a culture of black marketing where we lose focus on the actual event.