TORONTO - Officials say ticket sales for this summer's Pan Am Games were put on hold in order to better promote tickets for the Parapan Am Games, which went on sale for the first time Monday.
Michael Coteau, the Ontario minister responsible for both Games, says the goal was to ensure the Parapan Am Games — where athletes with disabilities compete — get the attention they deserve.
Coteau faced questions in the Ontario legislature about ticket sales for the Pan Am Games, with the opposition raising concerns that sales would fall short of their target.
So far, some 350,000 of the 1.2 million Pan Am tickets have been sold, and organizers say the opening ceremony is sold out, as are gold-medal games for some sports, such as men's baseball, men's soccer and men's basketball.
Sales for Pan Am tickets were halted on March 9 and are slated to resume mid-April.
Coteau says the current tally is a "pretty large number" and the province is "very proud" of how sales are going.
"We're very confident with ticket sales, and we're very confident with these Games," he said in the legislature.
The Pan Am Games will run from July 10 to 26, followed by the Parapan Am Games from Aug. 7 to 15.
Organizers say this year's Parapan Am Games will be the largest ever in terms of number of athletes, participating countries and disciplines.
All 15 sports will be qualifying events for next year's Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.