Six Flags, Inc filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Saturday seeking to reorganize and eliminate what it called an unsustainable $2.4 billion debt load from the previous management team.

Six Flags filed its bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Delaware. The company’s plan is to reduce its debt by $1.8 billion and cut more than $300 million in preferred shares obligations, the company said.

This restructuring process is strictly a back of the house effort to address and ensure the longstanding financial stability of Six Flags, said Mark Shapiro, Six Flags President and Chief Executive Officer on a statement today.

Shapiro explained that despite a record year in 2008 when the firm made approximately $275 million, it had to pay out approximately $175 million in interest expense on the debt and $100 million in park improvements and that was a balancing act you just can't risk year in and year out.”

Today's announcement comes after the amusement park company failed to negotiate a deal out of court with creditors.