09/19/2014 12:46 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:01 EDT

Organizers for 2015 Pan Am Games say 75,000 tickets requested in 48 hours

TORONTO - Organizers of next year's Pan Am Games in Toronto say 75,000 tickets have been requested for the massive gathering of athletes from 41 countries.

Tickets aren't on sale yet, but organizers allowed fans to start staking their claim on Monday to attend the sporting competitions in Toronto and other Ontario communities from July 10 to 26.

They say tickets to the opening ceremony — a show that includes Cirque du soleil — along with aquatics, equestrian and track cycling events are particularly popular.

CEO Saad Rafi says if demand outstrips availability, the requests will be placed in a lottery to ensure everyone has equal access to tickets.

Seats can be requested until Oct. 6 through the Toronto2015 website, with general ticket sales scheduled to start in December.

Tickets for the Parapan Games, which will run from Aug. 7 to 15, go on sale in March.

"We're extremely proud of the response by the public for tickets to the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, and we expect ticket demand to remain steady," Rafi said in a release.

Organizers are expecting to sell about 1.5 million tickets that would raise about $40 million. The lion's share of the $2.5-billion Games will come from the federal, provincial and Toronto governments.

The committee predicts there will be 250,000 visitors from outside Ontario, while the rest will likely be local.