The San Francisco 49ers (often referred to as the Niners) are a professional football team based in Santa Clara, California. They are members of the National Football League (NFL) as part of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the NFC West division. The team has played at Levi's Stadium since 2014.
The 49ers began play in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and joined the NFL in 1950 after the AAFC merged into the older league. The team was the first NFL franchise to win five Super Bowls, including four in the 1980s behind three-time Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana. San Francisco is second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl wins (6) and tied with the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots with 5 each. The 49ers were also the only team to win more than one Super Bowl without losing any, prior to their loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
In regular season head-to-head contests against the Green Bay Packers, the Packers hold the edge, 30-25-1. The teams with the Packers winning the first four of five playoff contests.
The name "49ers" comes from the name given to the gold prospectors who arrived in Northern California around 1849 during the California Gold Rush. The team is the oldest major professional sports team in California, as well as the first.
The 49ers entered professional football in 1946 as a member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Though the 49ers could never unseat the dominant Cleveland Browns (who won all four of the AAFC Championships), the 49ers were nonetheless a strong second-best team in the league. Upon the dissolution of the league after the 1949 season, the 49ers, along with the Cleveland Browns and the first Baltimore Colts were granted admission to the National Football League (NFL) in 1950, as they were the AAFC's most successful and profitable franchises.
The 49ers' first game as a member of the NFL was a home match with the New York Yanks on September 17, 1950. The Niners lost, 21-17.