QUEENS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)- The rumors of Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez’s interest in buying the New York Mets have persisted for several months. In that time, several other big name bidders have been reported to be in the running for the franchise. Now, it appears Major League Baseball has given its approval to seven of those potential bidders with the former New York Yankees third baseman and music star among those who have been approved.

According to Scott Soshnick of Sportico, the league has given its approval to seven groups, with Rodriguez and Lopez’s group, that may include Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola and VitaminWater co-founder Mike Repole, one of the seven approved groups.

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Others that are said to be exploring bids include Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, and billionaires David and Simon Reuben.

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According to the report, the Mets would prefer to have the sale finalized before the end of this year, allowing new ownership to take over prior to next season. The first round of bids for the franchise are expected to come in July.

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In the meantime, the team is preparing to return to the field for the second round of spring training as MLB looks to begin its season later in July.