The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) West division. The team plays its home games at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, located 38 miles (61 km) southeast of San Francisco in the heart of Silicon Valley. Since 1988, the 49ers have been headquartered in Santa Clara.
The team was founded in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and joined the NFL in 1949 when the leagues merged. The 49ers were the first major league professional sports franchise based in San Francisco and is the 10th oldest franchise in the NFL. The name “49ers” comes from the prospectors who arrived in Northern California in the 1849 Gold Rush.The team is legally and corporately registered as San Francisco Forty Niners.The team began play at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco before moving across town to Candlestick Park in 1970 and then to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara in 2014.