By Adriana Zhang
Spirits were high in downtown Toronto as the 2015 Pan Am Games tickets were launched today.
Hundreds of people piled into the Coca Cola Court at the Ryerson Athletic Centre for the morning ticket launch event; the same venue that will hold the basketball events at the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.
Audience members cheered in support of the athlete ambassadors who were brought out to speak including Greivis Vasquez of the Toronto Raptors, as well as the Olympic and Pan Am trampoline gold medalist, Rosie MacLennen.
“This is the chance for people to go out and see sports that aren’t in the Olympics such as squash and wakeboarding,” MacLennen told the audience.
Michael “Pinball” Clemons, of the Toronto Argos, emceed the event urging Torontonians to go out and buy tickets. Clemons charmed the audience into chanting enthusiastically, “Access granted!”
1.4 million tickets up for grabs
With over 1.4 million tickets available, “access granted” points to the affordability of tickets with prices starting at $20. Clemons also emphasized that seventy-five per cent of tickets are priced under $45.
The games are “an inspiring opportunity, it builds infrastructure, it gets kids excited about physical activity, and it’s going to increase the number of venues that are accessible to people with disabilities,” said Shelley Laskin.
“I just see it as a total win,” said Laskin.
Toronto has a lot to be excited about, said Neala Barton, the senior vice president of communications of TO2015, the organizing committee.
“This is the first time we’ve had a multi-sport games in Toronto, and it will be the biggest one ever held in Canada,” Barton told Humber News, “This is really exciting for people, they’ll have the world coming to them right here in their backyard.”
The games are a great opportunity for students to get involved by volunteering, said Barton.
“I’m pretty excited,” said Kunal Bhatt, a second year biochemistry student at York University, “I’d love the opportunity to work along with the organizing committee.”
Bhatt applied to be a volunteer and was invited to the ticket launch event.
The Toronto 2015 Pan American games will run July 10-26, 2015 while the Parapan American Games will run Aug. 7-15, 2015.
Tickets for the 2015 Parapan Am Games will be released in early spring.