Hamilton ratepayers will pay a bill of $410,000 to Waikato Stadium's lighting which is too weak for a Rugby World Cup game.
A Hamilton City Council committee voted on Thursday to pay to replace all the bulbs in order to meet contractual agreements with tournament organisers Rugby New Zealand 2011.
The stadium will host three matches, including the All Blacks against Japan on 16 September, which begins at 8pm.
Mayor Julie Hardaker says the cost of replacing the bulbs will be met from the existing budget and spread over more than a year.
The council will ask its preferred suppliers to put in quotes for the job.
A Hamilton ratepayers' representative, John Easto, criticised the outlay, saying it was ludicrous given widespread opposition among ratepayers to a proposed 8% average rates rise.