Indian Wells champs will receive $1 million apiece

The BNP Paribas Open will become the first ATP World Tour and WTA combined tennis tournament to award both its men's and women's singles champions $1 million in prize money.

The BNP Paribas Open, in its ongoing effort to become the largest tournament on the ATP and WTA tours, will increase its total prize money for 2012 to more than $11 million.

The event will be held March 5-18 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

"The BNP Paribas Open has been raising the bar for the sport over the course of the past four decades, and today's $1 million winners' prize money announcement represents yet another historic milestone," said WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster. "The BNP Paribas Open is one of the cornerstone events in professional tennis exactly because of this attention to players and willingness to innovate and push the boundaries of success."

Outgoing ATP executive chairman and president Adam Helfant said: "The ATP World Tour is stronger than ever -- both on the court and in terms of our business. It's fantastic that the BNP Paribas Open, one of the biggest and most important events on the tour, is taking the lead in recognizing the players in this way for the tremendous interest and value they continue to drive into the sport."

Last year's Indian Wells champs were reigning world No. 1 stars Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki.