Kochi: The Kerala Tourism department Thursday put off the auction for franchisee acquisitions in the inaugural edition of Champions Boat League to give more time to ensure enhanced participation, officials said.
However, all CBL-format boat races would be held as per schedule from August 10 to November 1,they said.
Tourism Secretary Rani George announced that fresh dates would be announced later.
Till that time, all the teams would be owned by the Tourism Department and all CBL boat races would be conducted strictly as per the IPL format in cricket and laid down rules.
"We are overwhelmed by the response of boat clubs and boat owners. The department strongly feels that this is a sport for the people and by the people," she said.
She said of the 11 prospective franchisees who took the bid document, many could not attend Thursdays bid and so the auction was postponed to a later date to ensure participation of more investors.
"The boat races of the CBL will be televised by our national broadcast partner. We believe it will also trigger more interest among the prospective bidders. This is a new product being held on the IPL format of cricket.
Therefore, more time needs to be given to franchisees to study the product and be convinced of its professional moorings and commercial benefits," she said.
Tourism director P Bala Kiran said the Tourism department would revisit the financial model of CBL and present it before the franchisees before the next round of auction.
The bidding for nine teams (boats) was scheduled to be held at Grand Hyatt here Thursday afternoon.
Bala Kiransaid all arrangements have been put in place for the three month long CBL, which will witness nine teams participating in 12 races across 12 locations on 12 weekends, from August 10 coinciding with the Nehru Trophy Boat Race and concluding with Presidents Trophy Boat Race in Kollam on the states Formation Day (November 1).
The nine teams participating in the CBL are Pallathuruthi Boat Club, Police Boat Club, United Boat Club, Kuttamangalam, Kainakary; NCDC/Kumarakam, Village Boat Club, Edathua; KBC/SFBC, Kumarakam; Vembanad Boat Club, Kumarakam; Town Boat Club, Kumarakam; and Brothers Boat Club, Edathua.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will flag off the event on August 10, on the sidelines of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Alappuzha, in the presence of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.