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NFL: Who owns the San Francisco 49ers?

Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers

Much like the British Royals or old-world dynasties, the ownership of the San Francisco 49ers is very much a family affair.

The York family owns 90% of the San Francisco 49ers, according to Forbes. The family includes Denise York, her husband John and multiple children; one son, Jed, is the San Francisco 49ers' CEO.

Denise York, 70, has a net worth of $3.2 billion, according to Forbes, which ranks her No. 260 on the 2020 Forbes 400 list and No. 616 on the 2020 Billionaires list.

Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers

York attended Saint Mary's College in Indiana before joining her family's company, The Debartolo Corporation. She also previously owned and was president of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins but sold the franchise in 1991.

Her father, Edward Debartolo Sr., originally bought the San Francisco 49ers for $13 million in 1977. After owning the team for 23 years, he transferred ownership of the San Francisco 49ers to his sister Denise due to legal trouble and scandals.

"You know what I resent the most from all of this?" Denise York told SFGate in 2000. "I didn't ask for any of this to happen. It fell into my lap: the 49ers, the accusations, the scrutiny, all of it. Eddie blew my cover. He blew my cover."

Denise York's husband John appears to be business-savvy as well; he's a pathologist and founded DeYor Laboratories before selling it to Corning.


How much are the San Francisco 49ers worth?

Annual Allen meeting in Sun Valley draws CEO's and business leaders to the resort town.
Annual Allen meeting in Sun Valley draws CEO's and business leaders to the resort town.

Ironically, Denise York's net worth is similar to the value of the franchise she owns.

The San Francisco 49ers are worth $3.5 billion, according to Forbes, a large markup from the original $13 million York's father paid for the team. The 49ers are the NFL's fifth-most valuable franchise.

Forbes ranks the Dallas Cowboys ($5.7 billion) as the most valuable NFL franchise, followed by the New England Patriots ($4.4 billion), New York Giants ($4.3 billion) and Los Angeles Rams ($4 billion).

The Cincinnati Bengals ($2 billion) are the least valuable NFL team, according to Forbes.

Jed York has been one of the NFL's most visible and well-known CEOs. In many ways, he has had to be one since he has presided over the 49ers' numerous coaching changes in recent years.

Alleged animosity between York and former head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was successful with the team, led to the duo parting ways after the 2014 season.

Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers

After the failures of Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly, both of whom were fired after just a season apiece, the 49ers appear to be on much steadier ground under Kyle Shanahan; they made it to the Super Bowl in 2019.

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Edited by Bhargav
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