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Report: 3 groups left in Dodgers bidding

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David Stern

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Only three groups remain in the bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the winner poised to be named as early as next week, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The groups led by billionaires Steven Cohen and Patrick Soon-Shiong, by Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten, and by Rams owner Stan Kroenke learned Friday they were all into the final stretch.

Major League Baseball owners will vote on the trio as early as next week, sources said, before current Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and sale broker Blackstone Advisory Partners engage in final negotiations.

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The winning bid was expected to exceed the $1.1 billion paid for the Miami Dolphins in 2009, thus setting a new record sale price for a North American sports franchise.

McCourt, who was forced to sell after encountering crippling finances, has agreed to complete the auction process by April 1.

After a series of high-profile rejections and withdrawals in the race for the franchise, Friday's cut to three ended the hopes of two rival groups.

They were a combined pitch by Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Los Angeles investor Tony Ressler, and a separate combined bid by Los Angeles civic leader Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney.

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