Canadians hoping to get seats for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games will have their first chance on Oct. 3, when the "first-phase" tickets go on sale.

But as it turns out, some of the hottest tickets in town, -- including the men's gold medal game in ice hockey -- may be virtually impossible for ordinary people to get.

Even though taxpayers are chipping in a big chunk of the funding needed to stage the games, most seats for the big events will be reserved for the so-called Olympic Family.

Only 30 per cent of tickets will be available to the public.

But even that amount is considered a victory by officials with the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC).

"We looked at previous games and saw that they'd been a real shortage of those prime events to the public, and we wanted to make sure we set a minimum that we could work with and make sure we deliver to the public," said VANOC vice-president Caley Denton.

Here's what that means at General Motors Place, or Canada Hockey Place as it'll be called in 2010:  

Organizers say 17,000 tickets will be available for the gold medal hockey game.

Seventy percent of those seats will go to the Olympic family. As only 30 per cent will be left over for the public, it means just 5,000 tickets will be available for sale worldwide.

"It's fair to say within that range, we're working right now to figure out the actual allocations of that venue," said Denton.

But for that one hockey game, and other select marquee events, most seats will be distributed to corporate sponsors, athletes and their families, national Olympic committees, The International Olympic Committee and the media.

As an official broadcaster for the 2010 games, tickets will also be allocated to CTV.

VANOC says giveaways and promotions by sponsors will ensure more tickets end up with regular folks, including tickets for premium events.

"We'll have a lot of ticket that flow through that program into the hands of the public," said Denton

With a report by CTV British Columbia's Mike Killeen.