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ESPN to cover Canteen Alley eating competition

The Canteen Alley will provide their famous canteens to a eating contest in June (Chris Arbino/KTVO)

Eating canteens from Ottumwa's Canteen Alley will be a full-fledged sport this upcoming summer.

It'll be a competition so fierce, even ESPN will be there to cover it.

Ottumwa Convention and Visitor Bureau Executive Director Melissa Little briefed city council Tuesday night about the gut-busting contest.

The current plan will pit 9 professional eaters and three Ottumwa locals against each other in June at Ottumwa's Central Park.

They'll have exactly 10 minutes to down as many Canteens as they can for a $2,000 first place cash prize.

Little said they are hoping to attract at least one celebrity to the eating contest, and were targeting Ottumwa's own Tom Arnold or Iowa native Ashton Kutcher.

The organization Major League Eating has agreed to sanction the event, and they've hosted similar events before.

"It is a sanctioned sport for pro-eaters around the world. It is the same organization that does the Coney Island hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July," Little told the council.

Little said the current record for the most Canteens eaten is 13 in one hour.

She's not sure how many the professional eaters would be able to devour in 10 minutes.

For more information about the event, follow this link here.

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