12/08/2014 01:22 EST | Updated 02/07/2015 05:59 EST

Tickets to 2015 Pan Am Games now on general sale; 160k sold in advance

TORONTO - Tickets to next year's Pan Am Games, which will see athletes from 41 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean compete in Toronto and other Ontario communities, are now on general sale.

Organizers say more than 160,000 tickets were sold during the advance sale period this fall.

That's from about 1.4 million tickets in total, and organizers say seats are still available for some of the Games' most popular sports, including soccer, track and field, aquatics and artistic gymnastics.

"The excitement for the Games is building and I'm thrilled we have seen such strong demand for tickets in the early access period," Michael Coteau, the Ontario minister responsible for the Games, said in a statement.

"We're committed to making these the most accessible Games ever, giving all Ontarians a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see incredible top-level international competition right here at home."

Ticket sales are expected to bring in roughly $40 million, with sponsorships and government subsidies to help cover the rest of the Games' $2.5-billion price tag.

Seventy-five per cent of tickets cost $45 or less, and all include access to transit the day of the event.

Organizers predict the international competition will draw 250,000 visitors from outside Ontario, while the rest will likely be local.

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