Are we excited about the Rugby World Cup?

I might manage a bit of mild interest.  I hope the event is a sporting success, and that we finally win again the trophy which has eluded us for so long. Once in 24 years is not enough for a country that thinks of its All Blacks as always the best team in the world. We need another triumph to substantiate that claim.

But a financial success is another matter entirely. We aren't flocking to the games, but then neither is anyone else. I am certainly not going.

As a season ticket holder at the Stadium I was offered a five game package at $1050, but there was only one game involving New Zealand - and that was again an unnamed opponent from the Pacific Rim (it turned out to be Canada), three other games among minnows, and Wales-South Africa. No thanks: well above my price point.

I tried later for an individual game ticket; the best on offer for Wales-South Africa was $250. I'm watching from the couch, thanks.

Ticket sales are not (yet) reaching their targets, although they might get there.

But the killer blow is that as a nation  we don't think that the benefits outweigh the costs.

A poll released this week by Research New Zealand showed that only 38 percent of New Zealanders think the benefits will outweigh the costs compared with 46 percent  who do not - a majority to the pessimists, who also have Finance Minister Bill English on their side.

When the government, which is underwriting the event, says that it's going to be a financial bomb, you learn two things.  One is that if they aren't talking this matter up, there's a lack of confidence in the event, in the management of the event, or in the willingness of New Zealanders and foreigners to go to the games.

Secondly you know that we are being softened up for an even bigger financial blow than the $40 million loss that was projected when we took on the project under the ever ambitious Helen Clark government.

We are being invited to a party at our own house and we know that there is  a bill for the bash even before we go to the function.

Even if the sales reach their projections, it is not going to be the kick start the economy needs - not in Wellington anyway. According to the City Council's World Cup Office, the number of visitors to the city and the total spend from those visitors will be about the same as that from visitors over the Sevens weekend in February.

That's positive, and no doubt the visitors will have a good time, but it is not an economic  game changer. The boost will be welcome to the hospitality industry, but it is not going to make anyone's fortune.

Perhaps that, and an underlying concern about the All Blacks' prospects, are behind our general scepticism about the World Cup as as an event.