Fans heading along to Eden Park this weekend for the Auckland Nines face getting breathalysed upon entry, with those too drunk barred from entry.

A crowd of up to 37,000 is expected on both days of the knock-out tournament, which will host 16 NRL teams and more than 288 players today and tomorrow.

An Eden Park spokesman said last night that the event was well-managed, safe, family-oriented and there was no tolerance for intoxicated people either entering the park or during the event.

"People who are intoxicated will not be permitted entry and alcohol not purchased at the stadium will not be allowed in."

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The spokesman said there would be bag searches at gate entry and breathalysers would be on hand to assess fans believed to be arriving already intoxicated.

Last weekend some fans were turned away from the Wellington Sevens at Westpac Stadium after they were breath-tested by security staff.

Westpac Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon said breath tests were only used to confirm whether someone was drunk.

There will be 31 games with nine-minute halves this weekend.

Teams will be vying for $2.6 million in prize money.

Stadium bars will open one hour after the gates open on both days and the number of drinks available for purchase will vary in accordance with liquor licence guidelines or general levels of behaviour, the Eden Park spokesman said.

Patrons will be able to purchase four drinks per person at a time to start with. The amount will be closely monitored by the stadium alcohol management team over the course of the day. The ground also has a dedicated "chill out" area for people needing a break and free water bottles will be given away on arrival.

Meanwhile, police have said that although they want people to have a good time, they encourage those attending the event to drink responsibly and not spoil the event for others.

National manager of alcohol harm reduction, Senior Sergeant Andy Smith, said security arrangements for the Nines were the responsibility of the event and venue organisers, but that police continued to work closely with them to help ensure a safe and enjoyable event.

"We also want people to make good decisions about getting themselves and their friends home safely. This includes not drinking and driving, or, if drinking, making alternative transport arrangements or nominating a sober driver."

Getting there and back

Today:

Gates open at 11.30am

Opening ceremony at 12pm

First game kicks off at 12.30pm

Last game kicks off at 7.35pm

Sunday:

Gates open at 10am

First game kicks off at 10.35am

Final game kicks off at 6.40pm

Presentation at 7pm

Transport

There will be free travel to and from Eden Park on trains and special event buses - for holders of pre-purchased game tickets including those on mobile devices. Buses will operate from the city centre, Northern Busway stations, Manukau, Botany, Pakuranga, Newmarket, Mt Eden, Takapuna. Free trains will operate from two hours before start.

For the timetable go to At.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/events/downer-nrl-auckland-nines/