(Reuters) - The broad group of entrepreneurs and sporting figures bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers has been narrowed and will be notified soon about whether they will participate in the auction, according to two sources familiar with the process.
One source said the list has been whittled down and those excused will be notified promptly. Another source said the bidders could hear within the next 24 hours, or possibly as early as Friday evening.
The Dodgers landed on the auction block after owner Frank McCourt was forced to place the team under bankruptcy protection last year, kicking off a courtship that has lured a host of suitors from among the sports, media, and financial elite.
They include NBA legend Magic Johnson, billionaire hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen, ex-New York Yankee and ex-Dodger manager Joe Torre, Internet entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and former Dodger greats Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey.
Parties submitted nonbinding first-round bids for the storied baseball team, the stadium, and related assets that, appropriately enough, helped usher in the modern era of big-business televised sports.
Sports and banking experts believe the team will command bids well in excess of $1 billion and perhaps as high as $2 billion, based on the robust interest demonstrated so far.
At least 20 parties were expected to put in preliminary bids for the team, formerly the pride of Brooklyn, that fielded such greats as Jackie Robinson, the first African-American Major League Baseball player of the modern era.