CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The price for buying the Carolina Panthers has risen to $2.5 billion, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
A $2.5 billion price tag would potentially set a record for a U.S. professional sports franchise.
Currently, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Clippers are the most expensive professional sports team purchases, with the Dodgers selling for $2.1 billion and the Clippers for $2 billion.
The Carolina Panthers franchise is reportedly worth $2.3 billion, according to Forbes, but experts say it could go for more.
The Buffalo Bills were the last NFL franchise to be sold, and they were bought for a little more than $1 billion in 2014. The Dallas Cowboys are listed as the most valuable professional sports franchise at a worth of $4.8 billion.
This report comes after more potential bidders have surfaced over the past few weeks.
On Wednesday, the Charlotte Observer reported that multiple sources said a steel and mining industry executive Alan Kestenbaum has surfaced as the latest potential bidder for the team.
Kestenbaum is the chairman and CEO of the private equity firm Bedrock Industries LP, which in June bought a 107-year-old Canadian steel company now called Stelco Holdings.
His name becomes the latest potential bidder to emerge since Panthers owner Jerry Richardson disclosed plans in December to sell the franchise he brought to the Carolinas in the mid 1990s.
So far, the three other likely bidders that have surfaced are Charleston businessman Ben Navarro, Philadelphia e-commerce innovator Michael Rubin and Miami hedge fund manager David Tepper.
Bloomberg reported that Rubin's group had dropped out of the bidding process due to the price escalation, but his spokesman reportedly declined to comment.
The Charlotte Observer said that sources close to the process said Rubin has made a bid and is still interested in the team.
Charlotte businessman Felix Sabates started a potential local ownership group, but may look at partnering with another bidder.
Other names that have been linked to the sale of the team include celebrities and athletes such as Diddy, Colin Kaepernick and Steph Curry.
Jerry Richardson put the team up for sale in December after the NFL took over an investigation into workplace harassment allegations.