4 Jul 2015

Capital prepares for Super Rugby final

10:16 am on 4 July 2015

Wellington is in for a huge day as it prepares to host its first Super Rugby final this evening.

The Hurricanes are facing off against the Highlanders, in front of a sold out crowd at Westpac Stadium.

The Hospitality Association said it could be the biggest rugby weekend for the capital since the 2005 Lions Tour, and would bring more people into the city than any All Blacks test match.

Its Wellington vice president, Jeremy Smith, said fans had completely booked out the city's accommodation.

"Most places filled up on Monday, but by Wednesday you couldn't get a room in a hotel in Wellington.

"We've got Hurricanes supporters from all over the place travelling, and obviously the Highlanders are bringing a massive contingent of support to Wellington."

He said he could not estimate how much money the punters would spend, but said a typical test match normally tripled spending in the city - and this would do at least that.

The Green Man pub decked out in black and yellow ahead of the Super Rugby Final

Wellington pubs are decked out in black and yellow ahead of the final. Photo: RNZ/Alex Ashton

The weather is expected to hold, and should stay fine until the wee hours.

Highlanders supporter ready to rumble.

Highlanders fans are flooding into the Capital Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

A Metservice forecaster, Karl Loots, was predicting great conditions for rugby.

"We're not expecting any rainfall for the day. We do have a bit of a fresh southerly wind to start off with - that's going to be easing as the day goes on.

"Towards evening we're just expecting a few cloudy periods."

He said the temperature should not drop below 8° tonight.

Meanwhile, the Wellington City Council will put on extra public transport and close roads to make sure the crowds get home.

The council is encouraging people to leave their cars at home, and said punters were unlikely to find a park within a half-hour walk of the stadium.

Following the match, there will be extra trains on the Johnsonville, Kapiti and Hutt Valley lines, and more buses heading out to the suburbs.

Thorndon Quay and Featherston Street to Whitmore Street will close to traffic for 30 minutes after the game, the council said.

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