Organisers of the World Rowing Championships on Lake Karapiro say the event will break even financially if most of the tickets to the nine-day event are sold.
Over 1200 athletes and officials from 49 countries are taking part.
Of the 55,000 tickets on offer for the championships, about 40,000 have been sold, with a day to go before the event is opened.
The chief executive of the organising committee, Tom Mayo, is confident the public will get behind the event.
"The research says if it's good weather and the crews are rowing it will go well."
The championships cost about $16 million to stage, of which $6 million comes from sponsorship and the rest from ticket sales and commercial deals.
Waipa District Council has invested about $10 million in infrastructure at Lake Karapiro.
Mayor Alan Livingston says while central Government has agreed to underwrite a proportion of any loss, it hasn't been forthcoming with cash.
The opening ceremony on Saturday afternoon include a parade of nations, an official flag raising and a powhiri in the presence of the Maori King, Tuheitia.
The championships run until 7 November.