The B.C. government has released its report on hosting the 2010 Winter Games and says the province spent more than $970,000 on Olympic and Paralympic tickets.

The report says the province used more than 4,600 tickets in all. Of those seats, more than 3,700 were paid for by the government, while just over 900 were provided free of charge by the Vancouver Olympic organizing committee.

The report released by the Economic Development Ministry says 143 tickets were used by ministers and MLAs as part of the province’s hosting responsibilities.

More than half were given to dignitaries and business leaders; the remainder were distributed to the public through contests and various community groups. The province estimates the total cost of hosting the Games, including the price of tickets, at just under $2.7 million.

Ian Black, minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development, said the money was well spent and will pay off in years to come.

Premier Gordon Campbell, Finance Minister Colin Hansen, Minister of State Mary McNeil, and Lt.-Gov. Steven Point were given “honoured guest” accreditation by VANOC that allowed them to sit in the Olympic family section of venues without tickets.

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