SeaWorld first went public in April of 2013, through the investment firm Blackstone Group -- which has since sold enough shares to lose a majority stake in the company. And the park has seen other issues, as The Dodo reported in January:
Attendance for the first nine months of 2013 was down 4.7 percent compared with the first nine months of 2012, from 19.8 million people to 18.9 million. In a conference call with shareholders in November, [Jim] Atchison, SeaWorld's CEO, said the company was planning on a slight fall in attendance due to ticket price increases, and that bad weather in July drove the numbers down. He said the company drove "higher quality attendance," meaning guests were willing to spend more, attendance took a hit down even considering SeaWorld Orlando, the company's signature park, opened a brand new Antarctica-themed area in May that had been in the works for nearly two years.
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According to UT San Diego, the company's CEO, Jim Atchison, weighed in on the impact of "Blackfish" during a conference call about the announcement.