The Brazilian state championships are held at the start of the year and help to fill the gap between Brazilian league campaigns. For most of the big teams in the country they are something they could really do without as it does mean their players only have a few weeks off in a single year.
However they are something that they must take part in and this is partly due to the structure of the administration side of Brazilian soccer. The main problem is the small teams have just as much say in the corridors of power as the big teams and what they want happens as they outnumber those clubs the size of Sao Paulo or Flamengo.
For the smaller teams it is the focus of their entire season and the draw of having one of the big names visiting them is something they cannot do without. It is also their main money earner which is why a vote for them ending would be akin to turkeys voting to keep Christmas as they would simply be slitting their own throat and killing off their clubs.
The smaller teams also expect the bigger ones to still field strong teams which is why you often get a balance of them blooding some young players amongst the more established stars. It is pretty fair to say that the star players perhaps do not take it too seriously unless they are playing against one of their bigger rivals.
The Brazilian state championships is also their only chance of getting some glory and for the owners of the club and their small number of fans it is their day in the sun. The closest equivalent would be a team such as York City being drawn to play against Manchester United and if they could make sure of it happening every year then there is no way they would vote for changes.
With regards to prize money it is actually very small which means they are not doing it for this reason so with financial rewards you then need to look elsewhere. This therefore means you have to think about their sponsors and other people that advertise with the club and the belief that keeping these games against the big teams in their state shall help to keep those local businesses pumping money into their club.
There is a certain degree of apathy amongst the fans of the bigger clubs as well and this is reflected in the sizes of the crowds that go along to games. As you may expect Santos gets a bigger crowd when playing Sao Paulo when compared to what they would expect to have when playing against a smaller club in the state so in this respect the bigger clubs end up losing money as a result.
So in summary it is fair to say that this championship is going to continue in all corners of Brazil unless the balance of power shifts in the corridors of power for soccer in the country. There is too much to lose for the small team and their desire to survive far outweighs the desire of the big teams to give their stars a longer close of season break.