DeBartolo preparing for emotional farewell

December, 15, 2013
12/15/13
1:15
PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. -- Former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo is at the game. He spoke to reporters prior to the game. Here is a sampling of DeBartolo’s thoughts:

Saying Goodbye to Candlestick: DeBartolo will be an honorary captain Dec. 23 in the final game at Candlestick Park against Atlanta. He will be at the game with former 49ers’ stars Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and Dwight Clark. As expected, DeBartolo said legendary quarterback Joe Montana has a schedule conflict.

“It’s going to be emotional as anything I’ve ever done,” DeBartolo said.

He is excited about the opening of Lev’s Stadium in Santa Clara. He said it will make the Cowboys’ Stadium in Dallas -- considered the premier stadium in the NFL -- "look obsolete.”

Super Bowl thoughts: DeBartolo said the 9-4 49ers are “by far" the best team in the NFL. “I can’t see any reason why they can’t win the Super Bowl,” DeBartolo said.

Harbaugh contract: DeBartolo said he talked to his nephew and 49ers’ CEO Jed York on Saturday, and he said he gets the feeling coach Jim Harbaugh will get a new contract soon. There has been heavy talk that Harbaugh, who has two years left on his contract, will get a new deal in the offseason amid talk the University of Texas is interested in him.

Hall of Fame thoughts: DeBartolo is one of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The final vote is in February.

DeBartolo said it would be “phenomenal” to be elected, but he is focusing on the candidacy of former 49ers’ pass-rusher Charles Haley. He said Haley has already asked DeBartolo to present him into the Hall of Fame.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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