Over the last year, as fan resentment toward San Francisco 49ers ownership intensified, a common demand was that the York family sell the franchise. Rumors have actually circulated off and on over the last couple years that Oracle executive and really rich dude Larry Ellison was interested in purchasing the team. Ellison has been trying to purchase a Bay Area franchise for at least a decade, most recently coming up short in his attempts to purchase the Golden State Warriors.
Some rumors circulated in recent weeks that he might be pushing to purchase the 49ers, and from what I gather, rumors were floating around Silicon Valley in the fall of 2014 as well. Jed York was asked about the rumors, and he was pretty adamant in his response:
My family's owned this team since before I was born and they'll own this team after I'm gone.
Estate taxes will be something to deal with when the time comes for ownership to formally pass on to him (the team is owned by Denise York), but in the meantime, I don't think he could have made a more forceful statement on the matter.
And really, it is not at all surprising the team would not look to sell the franchise. The 49ers are in a new stadium, cashing in on stadium builders' licenses and sponsorship money in a big way. Yes, fans are pissed off, but a few smart moves will get a lot of fans on their side, or at the very least, not angry anymore. They have SBL money coming in, but I would like to think the Yorks don't want to have to deal with someone suing fans to pay off defaulted SBLs. And getting that extra concession, parking and other money from actually having fans in attendance is certainly a plus. That, and avoiding the embarrassment of half-empty stands at the games.
At this point, it would take an absolute Godfather-type offer for the Yorks to sell the 49ers. A guy like Larry Ellison is one of the few people in the world who could actually make such an offer. It would be something on the order of $2.5 billion or $3 billion, but also would need to be paid up front. A financed deal means you have to wait on the money, but given that Ellison is among the richest people in the world, he could actually make that kind of payment up front. If that were to happen, then maybe Denise York sells the team. In the meantime, that's not happening.