Almost $1 million a day expected to be pumped into the Canterbury local economy is on the line during Cup and Show Week if three major events do not go ahead as planned.
It was revealed Covid-19 restrictions could affect Addington Cup Week, Canterbury's biggest racing week of the year, and be closed to general admission for the first time in 117 years.
The Canterbury A & P Show will be going ahead but public numbers could be significantly reduced unless the region moved down to level 1 restrictions.
Riccarton Racecourse will wait until November 1 before making a decision on racegoing spectators for Wednesday's Ladies Day on November 10th and Saturday's New Zealand Cup on the 14th.
ChristchurchNZ told the Herald the total predicted visitor spend for the New Zealand Cup and Show Week events, at Addington and Riccarton, and the New Zealand Agricultural Show is $4.3 million.
That estimate is based on the events, typically running across five days, going ahead while the whole country is at alert level 1.
Head of major events, Karena Finnie, said they are very sympathetic to the situation of event organisers right now.
"We certainly hope that these events can go ahead as planned, but regardless of the outcome ChristchurchNZ will continue to support our partners and promote the city as a beautiful and vibrant spring destination through the Bloom campaign," she said.
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Leeann Watson said if Addington Cup Week goes ahead without the public, it will have flow-on affects across the business community.
"It is a big event for the city and region. There are many that rely on the economic returns from that show.
"It's great that they are going ahead but certainly challenging for those businesses that will potentially miss out on the opportunities that come from having 100,000 people in the city during those five days," she said.
Watson said local businesses are feeling very anxious about getting back down to alert level 1.
"At the moment, we don't know when we're gonna move or what that will look like which creates a huge amount of uncertainty and anxiousness for businesses some of whom are just hanging on," she said.
A spokesperson for Retail NZ said it will be disappointing if Covid-19 alert levels mean that Cup Week can't open to the public.
"Cup week is always positive for the retail community. Christchurch businesses will be hoping the South Island can get back to level 1 in the near future.
"Events and festivals are important for retailers as they encourage customers to get out shopping," they said.
Addington Cup Week 2021 kicks off with the IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup Day on Tuesday November 9.
The Show Day Races are scheduled for Friday November 12.