He is seen as one of the primary figures in the financial downfall of Six Flags in the mid to late 2000s, ultimately leading to the company filing for bankruptcy in 2009.
In 2005, Daniel Snyder acquired a 12% stake in Six Flags, Inc. through his private equity company Red Zone Capital.
In October 2005 Snyder, along with former ESPN executive Mark Shapiro and Redskins co-owner Dwight Schar, attempted to stage a coup when he addressed a letter to shareholders where he blasted Kieran Burke and the board for their perceived misuse of money, saying that they "would have done better by hiding their money under a mattress" than investing in the company under Burke. He then bragged that as the the owner of "the most valuable team in sports", he would make everyone richer.
These words fired up investors, who had already been frustrated by Burke's failure to do anything about the company's rising debt.
After a proxy battle, Snyder later took control of the board, ousting CEO Kieran Burke and replacing him with his friend and ESPN executive Mark Shapiro. Snyder also placed himself as chairman.
In April 2009, the New York Stock Exchange delisted Six Flags' stock as it had fallen below the minimal required market capitalization. In June 2009, Six Flags announced that they were delaying a $15 million debt payment and two weeks later, Six Flags filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As part of the reorganization, 92% of the company ended up in the hands of their lenders.
In April 2010, Dan Snyder and Mark Shapiro were removed from their positions. Snyder lost his entire investment.
- McKenna, Dave. Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s amusing failure at Six Flags.. Slate. Archived from the original on October 8, 2019.