SeaWorld has agreed to end its orca breeding program, and theatrical shows that feature the whales.
SeaWorld announced Wednesday earnings were down 28 percent in the third quarter. San Diego’s unique ties to the theme park mean the city could feel that drop too.
SeaWorld hopes to buoy itself with plans to sink millions into new killer whale habitats and research.
SeaWorld acknowledged Wednesday that the so-called “Blackfish” bill may be affecting its bottom line, news that could mean smaller rent payments to the city of San Diego.
We brought together SeaWorld, one of its highest-profile critics and a professor who studied its business model for a rollicking discussion.
It’s one of the city’s largest employers, and one of its most significant sources of income. But in the last year it’s been forced into an emotionally fraught moral debate about its treatment of killer whales, the very creatures it’s long celebrated and personified.
SeaWorld donates significant cash to San Diego-area politicians and serves on several high-profile local boards.
Former theme-park executives and experts say SeaWorld could survive without its trademark killer whale shows – if it introduces something better.
SeaWorld revealed Wednesday that park attendance was down in the first three months of the year, leading to speculation about the “Blackfish” effect.
More than a decade ago, SeaWorld and the city signed off on a master plan that defines how the theme park can develop.