The Royal Alberta Museum is releasing 8,000 more free tickets to its grand opening week after all of those in first batch were snagged within hours.

Officials announced Wednesday construction had finished on the new Royal Alberta Museum and that it would open to the public on October 3.

Of the more than 40,000 tickets available for the museum’s opening week, it offered 21,500 no-admission tickets to the public through online bookings.

Within six hours of the announcement, all had been booked.

An additional 8,000 online tickets will be released Saturday, September 15 at 10 a.m.

“This is a testament to the love people have for the Royal Alberta Museum,” Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda said in a statement.

“This tells us that RAM is more than a museum. It is a gathering place for people of all ages, backgrounds and experiences. It is a place that inspires us all to discover the remarkable stories of what it means to be Albertan.”

The free tickets can be booked online.

The remaining tickets will be reserved to accommodate walk-up visitors and annual pass holders. Those planning to attend as walk-ups should be prepared for lineups.

During its first week, RAM will be open:

-          October 3: noon – 5 p.m.

-          October 4: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

-          October 5-8: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Regular paid admission prices and hours begin on October 9, and will be posted on the museum website.