A Sporting Tradition

Owning and running a sports team is actually a business operation. It involves money and if you own a major team it involves lots of money. Marie Denise DeBartolo York knows all about it; she has been involved with two major sports team in different fields of sports.

Denise was born in 1950, in Youngstown, Ohio.  She belongs to the DeBartolo family who were into real estate development.  After graduating from college she joined The DeBartolo Corporation and became executive vice president. Denise became company co-chairman upon her father’s death in 1994. Subsequently all 78 DeBartolo malls were sold.

Her entrance into sports came by way of her father Edward DeBartolo who bought the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League in 1978. Denise became the owner and president.  The Penguins became champions winning the Stanley Cup during the 1990-1991 season with her as president. Following the championship year she sold the team to help the struggling DeBartolo Corporation which got hit during the real estate collapse of 1987.

Then in 2000 she and her husband retired pathologist John York gained control of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers from her brother Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr.  They have since given control of the team to their son Jed who is also the CEO of the 49ers. She is still co-chair of the football team and like her hockey days may win another championship as the 49ers are headed for Super Bowl XLVII.

Denise has picked up sports teams where her father and brother have left off and has shown her capacity to successfully run professional sports teams.

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