Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Tourism is expecting bigwigs from the Indian corporate sector and celebrities for franchisee acquisitions of Kerala Tourism's inaugural Champions Boat League (CBL).
CBL is billed as the country's first-ever water-based sports league patterned on The Indian Premier League (IPL) format of cricket.
Franchisee team ownerships will be finalized and announced at an auction ceremony at Kochi on July 29.
"The participation of national corporates and celebrities in the CBL's bidding process will give a huge impetus to Kerala's famous snake boat races by professionalizing and commercializing the event on the lines of IPL," said State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Wednesday.
"This will be a win-win situation for all the stakeholders, be it a franchisee owner, a boat owner/club or an oarsman," said State Finance Minister Thomas Issac.
"Tourists will also benefit as they will be treated to the enchanting spectacle of boat races in Kerala's famous scenic backwaters," said Isaac.
Staggered over nearly three months, the high stakes popular mass event will witness nine teams participating in 12 races across 12 locations on 12 weekends, from August 10 until November 1.
All races will be held in the afternoons between 2.30 p.m. and 5 p.m. The CBL winner will get a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, while those finishing second and third will receive Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.