Former owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr. was selected today by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Contributors Committee as a finalist for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. DeBartolo, Jr. reigned over the 49ers dynasty teams of the 1980s and 1990s during an era when the franchise captured five Super Bowl titles.
The Contributors Committee is comprised of nine members of the overall selection committee. Through mail vote, the 2016 Contributor nominees were reduced to a list of 12 semifinalists (bylaws specify 10 finalists and ties). Then, on a rotating basis, five of the nine members of the committee meet at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton to discuss each of the Contributors semifinalists and today selected DeBartolo, Jr.. The Contributor category is for individuals who made outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching.
Under DeBartolo’s leadership the 49ers were transformed from a downtrodden franchise into one of the greatest teams in NFL history. During his time as the club’s owner from 1977 to 2000, the 49ers posted 10 or more wins in a season 17 times in 18 years with the only non-winning campaign coming during the strike-shortened 1982 season. Also during that span San Francisco appeared in 10 NFC championship games and won Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV, and XXIX.
“I’m truly humbled. My football life is going through my mind right now,” DeBartolo, Jr. commented moments after learning the news he had been selected.
DeBartolo, Jr. must receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists during the annual selection meeting to be elected to the Hall of Fame. The Hall’s Selection Committee, at its annual meeting on the eve of Super Bowl 50, will consider 18 finalists, including one Contributor (DeBartolo, Jr.), two Seniors (Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel who were named by the Seniors Committee two weeks ago), and 15 Modern-Era finalists to select a class no smaller than four or larger than eight.
The list of Modern-Era nominees for 2016 will be revealed on Wednesday, September 16 during a Hall of Fame special on NFL Network.
The Class of 2016 will be formally enshrined during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 4-7, 2016. The Enshrinement Ceremony is televised nationally by the Hall of Fame’s broadcast partners, NFL Network and ESPN.
Official ticket packages for the 2016 Enshrinement Weekend went on sale earlier this week. Full details can be found at www.HOFExperiences.com.
Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Process>>>
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