The San Francisco 49ers joined the NFL in 1950 after playing in what was known as the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) from 1946. The name 49ers references the prospectors who flooded the state during the California Gold Rush of 1849.
The 49ers originally played in Kezar Stadium, an inner-city stadium with a real neighbourhood feel.
From 1970 to 2013, they played in Candlestick Park, which was cold and windy, even on the sunniest of days.
In 2014, the team moved 72 kms southeast to Santa Clara and into the brand new Levi’s Stadium, which has all the modern amenities, but until this year has been known as one of the NFL’s less intimidating stadiums.
-The founder and original owner was Tony Moribito who died of a heart attack during a game in 1957.
-The team remained with the Moribito family (they did bring in some other investors) until 1977 when they sold to the DeBartolo family, headed by Eddie DeBartolo.
-Eddie was there for the glory years of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and head coach Bill Walsh and is still beloved by the players, coaches and fans from that era.
-In 1998, Eddie was caught up in a scandal with Edwin Edwards, the governor of Louisiana, and suspended for a year by the NFL. His sister Denise and her husband John York took control.
-Eventually DeBartolo and the York Family worked out a business deal and the Yorks took over the running of the team.
-Eddie DeBartolo was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
The team used the ‘Miner 49er’ caricature from 1946 to 1967. Then came the iconic oval with the interlocking ‘SF’ (1968-1995). In 1996, a gold band was added to the black oval, and this design was altered slightly and the colour changed to a brighter red in 2009.
The 49ers have played in six Super Bowls and won five:
1982 (XVI): Beat Cincinnati 26-21
1985 (XIX): Beat Miami 38-16
1989 (XXIII): Beat Cincinnati 20-16
1990 (XXIV): Beat Denver 55-10
1994 (XXIX): Beat San Diego 49-26
2013 (XLVII): Lost to Baltimore 34-31