Redskins' owner Daniel Synder wants to oust Burke from Six Flags

Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 10:40 PM | Contributed by coasterguts

Six Flags investor Daniel Snyder, through his Red Zone company, said on Wednesday he was seeking the ousting of Chief Executive Kieran Burke and would make a tender offer for up to 34.9 percent of shares contingent on shareholders accepting a number of changes.

Read more from Reuters.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005 10:41 PM
Jeff's avatar I'll be the first to say that I'd love to see Burke go. That's long overdue. I am not, however, even remotely comfortable with the idea that Snyder or one of his own goons would call the shots. Most of his ideas so far have been pretty stupid and demonstrate he doesn't know the business.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005 11:19 PM
What, you don't think they should make 'Shockwave: The Movie'

Hmmm... what are some others

"Raging Bull" about a bull that gets really mad and runs around terrorizing a wild west town.

"Ninja"... ummm.... about a ninja that fights crime while sliding down zip lines. or something

obviously they wouldn't be able to do anything with the DC or HB rides like Scooby.

"Medusa: The 3d experience" The version that gets released to West Coast theatres is a mirror image of the one on the East Coast

"Clones" a horror film about the proliferation of identical rides at every amusement park

"I am Sam's SLC" A moving film about a mentally disabled man who rides Mind Eraser and T2 and miraculously recovers full mental capacity, while falling in love with a ride op

"I lost my heart on an Intamin" About tragic love and tragic loss

"Jackass 2: EnthusiASS" self explanatory

okay, I actually thought of ONE ride that could make a kick ass movie... seriously. "Monster Plantation" No doubt, that movie would rock.

"You're invited... to a picnic... with the Monsters...."

Thursday, August 18, 2005 4:19 AM
Robocoaster's avatar I can't wait for the day I get to burn my Burke doll in effigy... ;)

But I believe I could find it in me to at least wait for a better prospect than Snyder.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 8:11 AM
You all can say what you want about old Danny boy, but he's taken an inferior product (The Redskins) into the most profitable NFL franchise, moreso than the 3 out of 4 Super Bowl winning Partiots. The man knows *something* about business...
Thursday, August 18, 2005 8:12 AM
Jeff, I agree that Snyder might not be the right candidate but as you can see in a letter written to Snyder from a non Management affiliate representing Six Flags ,He apparently has not been to SFNO or several other parks, Performance this year would have been lack luster except for the live Concert series that brought attendance up but only temporarially. The Guy that sent the reply to Snyder has no clue as to what the Organization he represents is actually doing to enhance business..

Theme parks cater to a different audience and demographic than
the NFL, and do not drive attendance through a handful of high profile,
proprietary live events.

Oh and Btw, Jeff could we get together with CoasterBuzz and have a joint Event, We would like you to attend our "GGG" Great Greenspace Gathering at SFNO. We could have a great time under our saplings and ERT on our Coasters..What a Deal , Enthusiasts would flock in....*** This post was edited by CrazyB 8/18/2005 8:25:36 AM ****** This post was edited by CrazyB 8/18/2005 8:28:37 AM ***

Thursday, August 18, 2005 8:35 AM
I wouldn't be too quick to say that an NFL owner wouldn't know anything about the theme park business. How quickly we forget Lamar Hunt (founder/owner of the Kansas City Chiefs and past owner of Worlds of Fun along with Jack Steadman).

But, there is a HUGE difference between Snyder and Hunt, I'll grant you that.

Hmm...I wonder if Snyder and Hunt are friends.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 9:27 AM
You can't compare the way Dan Snyder runs the Redskins to his running a chain of amusement parks. When Dan Snyder purchased the Redskins he inherited a very loyal fan base. A fan base whose loyalty has been tested over the past six or so years he's owned the team. Twenty Five dollar's to park at a off stadium parking lot and then take a metro bus to the stadium. Forcing season ticket holders to use a MBNA Master Card (he was later told he had to accept the Master Card's of other banks, but we can still only purchase our tickets with a Master Card), sticking season ticket holders with seats that have obstructed views.

However, Dan Snyder will face a different audience with Six Flags. The "fans" at Six Flags aren't loyal in fact, their fleeing. If Dan Snyder rides into SF proclaiming I'm your knight in shining armour and expecting to find a already loyal fan base, he's kidding himself. He will have to build a base of fans pretty much from the ground up. Initially, he willn't be able to do that by restricting them to one brand of Master Card, cutting the staff, raising ticket prices, charging enormous amounts of money for parking or raising the prices of concessions. Those are things you do if you have a solid, loyal customer base. What your going to see is land around an amusement park, that is unusable for an amusement park, sold, point cards (the more you spend the closer you get to that one free funnel cake), star attractions given a brand name like the Fedex Batwing and credit cards being hawked at every intersection in the park. I can just hear it now "Get your Free Six Flags XXXX T-Shirt". He will sell every nook and cranny of advertising space he can inside the park. Expect brand names to pop up on the side of any ride that is easily seen from a major roadway.I'm for a change in SF management. Is Dan Snyder the right person for the job? I'm conflicted about it. On one hand, I could see where his marketing skills could be handy for SF but I sure would hate to see Superman draped in a Fedex wind screen like Fedex Field is.

Here is more from The Washington Post.
*** This post was edited by coasterguts 8/18/2005 9:39:30 AM ***

Thursday, August 18, 2005 9:51 AM
Jeff's avatar Wait... the guy suggested tie-ins with video games. Now I want you to go to any successful theme park and show me what percentage of people there are gamers or why you'd want more of them. Six Flag Babysitting Inc. already has those people, and if they haven't figured it out, it's not easy to bleed more money from them after they buy a season pass.

I thought it was obvious by now that the issue is one of customer service and overall guest experience. If Six Flags can get that right and they still can't rake in the cash, then we can talk about what to do next. You don't teach a kid to type before you teach them to turn on the computer.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:07 AM
Right. The only thing "broken" with Six Flags is the fact that they don't know how to take care of their customers. Dirty parks, rude employees, regular ride closures, deaf customer service departments- these are the things that are causing the company to sink faster than a brick in a pool. Before someone starts thinking synergies, they have to start thinking about earning customers.

I'm with Jeff- Burke has to go but I'm not confident that Snyder is the right person to name his successor.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 11:18 AM
I don't know that Dan Snyder willn't do anything to fix customer service. I can't honestly say I have a problem finding a employee at Fedex Field. Their are ushers in each section of the stadium, plenty of parking attendants, all of the concession stands are open, beer and wine is sold all over the place. In fact, I would say Fedex Field is probably overstaffed. Will the same thing happen at SF, I don't know. It wouldn't surprise me to see SF employees wearing shirts with the name of a product on them someplace.

Dan is very good at keeping his businesses seperate. The Redskins are an independent operation of Fedex Field. The employees know what their jobs are, what the rules are and things run efficently, IMHO. I can say customer service isn't a top priority. In all of Fedex Field their is one escalator to cart everyone to the top of the stadium or you have to walk up 16 ramps. However, I can tell you their is someone at the top of that escalator making sure it works.I can say, whatever the issues are at the beginning of the football season, the problems are usually resolved by mid-season. Example, the buses that take you from the off stadium parking lots were having to battle traffic to the stadium parking lots. By the end of September you had a seperate bus express lane that took you to within a few hundred yards of the front of the stadium. I can say his tailgate and executive clubs are extremely pricey and he wants the money up front.

But like I said, I don't think you can compare the Redskins to how he would run SF. Redskins Fans are Redskins Fans, their not necessarily Dan Snyder Fans. A Redskins fan can still root for the team at home without being at the stadium. That's just about what I became until my wife gave me a sob story when I wasn't going to renew my Redskins tickets because he wanted to restrict me to one bank's credit card. He started with a loyal base of Redskins Fans with the Redskins. SF is bird of a different feather and will have his work cut out for him since customers of SF will "walk" if they have a bad experience.
*** This post was edited by coasterguts 8/18/2005 11:30:35 AM ***

Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:06 PM
Gemini's avatar Shapiro leaving ESPN to lead Red Zone, LLC
Thursday, August 18, 2005 1:45 PM
Everyone seems to think Snyder is going to be involved in the hands on day to day operations of Six Flags. I highly doubt that would be the case. He is a high profile buisness man leading many diffrent companies. Of course any comments made by Snyder himself are going to be picked up by the papers.He did not get in the position he is in by making poor buisness decisions. If Redzone gets their wish I am somewhat confident the right people will be brought in to make a turn around. Not Snyder trying to micro manage a theme park company in the midst of all his other enterprises.
Thursday, August 18, 2005 2:00 PM
Mamoosh's avatar I don't know anything about Snyder...nor the Redskins...but if he's able to oust Burke I hope he takes the next step and ousts SFMM's Del Holland.
Thursday, August 18, 2005 2:04 PM
I wouldn't be surprised to see a fundamental shake up of park management. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if overall operations don't tighten up quite a bit in the next few weeks.
Thursday, August 18, 2005 2:10 PM
rollergator's avatar What jeremy said...

Also, need to add that I've been pushing for tie-ins with pro sports for a LONG time...(hey, people with disposable income are sitting IN the stands...*market* to them).

Snyder may not know THIS industry, but he DOES know profitability, and SFI is *nothing* if not a potential gold mine...

Thursday, August 18, 2005 3:22 PM
This is what I read from The Washington Times

"The filing says Six Flags has focused too exclusively on thrill rides for teenagers "at the expense of families and young children." Red Zone would make the parks more family-friendly by targeting mothers and young children in advertisements."

I will totally agree with this. Even though I'm a teenager myself, I will have to agree that Six Flags has been focusing on thrill rides for us. Look at SFMM, not to even mention the brawl there that happened this year and at SFAW. Also a shooting in the parking lot at SFA. Six Flags as a whole is not on family friendly terms right now, and it should have been on day one. Families bring in money, not us children/teenagers.

If something is broke... Fix It!
*** This post was edited by SF Critic 8/18/2005 3:23:30 PM ***

Thursday, August 18, 2005 4:08 PM
CNBC - Six Flags - Dan Snyder Interview

Here are some quick notes from the interview that was on CNBC at about 2pm today.

Snyder believes in the catagory...potential...unlimited opportunity.
Six Flags needs a guy guy like mark schiparo (is missing from the company)...needs leadership
Six Flags needs energy/new life
Six Flags needs someone creative/innovative.
Six Flags is an underperformer for years. Time for change.
Business needs to be fixed.
Six flags has boatload of real is not needed and paying taxes on.
Snyder is following rules of the company....lots of poison pills.
Snyder filed the proxy...waiting for response...shareholders given enough time to
Snyder wants to expand as well as sell real estate....mostly sell unused real estate to save on taxes
and pay down debt.

Six Flags is a wonderful opportunity....

Thursday, August 18, 2005 4:44 PM
hmmmm.... I wonder just how easy it was for him to get that interview. If you type you go to the website.
Thursday, August 18, 2005 5:44 PM
I'm still not comfortable with the fact that Snyder is talking about selling real estate and one of his partners is a housing developer. I just don't know if this is the right guy to help SFI or not.

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