Wellington is filling up as fans flock to pubs and restaurants ahead of the Super 15 final.
"It's massive. As far as rugby goes, we definitely think it's bigger than an All Black test match," said Jeremy Smith, Hospitality New Zealand Wellington branch president.
Smith said a huge crowd of Hurricanes and Highlanders fans from around New Zealand had converged on the capital this weekend.
He expected the game to have a bigger impact on the city than even the Cricket World Cup matches had earlier this year.
Smith said people unable to get tickets were reserving tables at bars, cafes, anywhere they could watch the game on TV with friends.
The event would undoubtedly inject "millions" of dollars into the local economy, Smith said.
Local restaurants, hotels and bars were expecting a huge night.
Smith said dismal weather drove some people away from the city's bars last night. But MetService was forecasting mostly fine conditions for the city tonight.
After their team upset major rivals in recent weeks, Highlanders fans had reason to be confident the Southern men could mitigate the Hurricanes' home-ground advantage.
The Highlanders arrived in Wellington hoping to banish their Super rugby demons after their loss in the final sixteen years ago to the Crusaders.
The Hurricanes' Super rugby history was also disappointing, with fans waiting nine years for their team to make another final after the Crusaders dispatched the Wellingtonians in 2006.
Today is the last match captain Conrad Smith will play for the home team.
It will also be the Hurricanes swansong for Ma'a Nonu, Jeremy Thrush, Chris Smylie, Rey Lee-Lo and Ben Franks.
Today's match comes just 29 days after the death of former Hurricanes player Jerry Collins in a car crash in France.
Collins' passing triggered an outpouring of emotion in the region, with thousands walking in his honour and attending a public funeral in Porirua.
Collins' former Wellington teammate Neemia Tialata today tweeted a photo of himself feeding Collins' three-month-old daughter Ayla, draped in her dad's Hurricanes jersey.