Christchurch pubs, restaurants and motels expect this weekend's visitor numbers will be unable to compete with the boom of the 2005 Lions' tour.
The British and Irish Lions take on Crusaders at AMI Stadium on Saturday night.
Hospitality New Zealand South Island manager Amy McLellan-Minty said she did not expect the city would draw in the same money and visitors as it did in 2005.
She said that was partly because it has a smaller stadium post-quake and it was not hosting any test matches.
Only three test matches have been held in Christchurch since the earthquakes damaged Lancaster Park - which could seat 38,000 - beyond repair.
The temporary AMI Stadium can only hold about half that number.
"We're not naive enough to believe that it will be anything like the previous tour," she said.
And while bars were preparing for a busy night, hotels and motels in Christchurch were not all fully booked ahead of the game, Ms McLellan-Minty said.
"What we're hoping is that those that are coming into the city stay and have a look around Christchurch."
In 2005, when the Lions came to Christchurch to take on the All Blacks, Ava Nakagawa, the manager of British styled pub Pomeroy's, said it nearly ran out of beer.
"It was insane," she said.
Ms Nakagawa said their boutique accommodation next to the pub had been booked out by people going to the game this weekend for months in advance.
But she said it was not expecting it to be as busy at the bar this time around.