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John Tory wants Toronto to be more positive about the Pan Am/Parapan Games

06/24/2015 01:59 EDT | Updated 06/24/2016 05:59 EDT
John Tory urged Toronto to "get positive" about the upcoming Pan Am/Parapan Games despite seemingly lagging ticket sales, he said Wednesday morning.

He said being negative about the games was a very Toronto thing to do, and he wants to change that.

"We should get out of the old Toronto mentality," he said in response to a question about the lagging ticket sales for the Games. "We look at the negative. This is going to be a great event. The tickets are going to be sold."

Earlier this month, organizers reported that they'd only sold 400,000 of the 1.4 million tickets reserved for both the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

"We know we won't sell out every venue — few games do. But gold medal matches are going quickly," said spokesman Teddy Katz of the Games.

But as of Wednesday, that number has surged to 650,000 for the Pan Am events alone.

"We know people are still making their decisions around what they want to do for the summer, what availability they have, what kind of budget they have maybe to buy tickets with," said spokeswoman Neala Barton.

Among the people who haven't bought tickets yet is Tory.

"I haven't bought my tickets yet. And I have to buy tickets as a person like anybody else, but I procrastinate as people do," he admitted.

Tory said Toronto should stop talking about ticket sales altogether and get excited for the games.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said she's noticed a shift in the tone of conversation and the level of excitement in the final weeks before the games get underway.

"There is a different buzz about the Pan Am games and the Parapan Am games even than there was a week ago," she said. "You can tell people are getting more excited about it. There are more stories about the athletes. It's very clear that we're getting ready."

The Pan Am Games will take place from July 10 to 26, and the Parapan Am Games from Aug. 7 to 15.

They will feature 51 different sports taking place among 16 host municipalities in and around Toronto.

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