With people strolling to work along sparsely populated pavements and flags gently fluttering overhead, St Mary Street hardly seemed like the eye of a storm this morning.
Fast forward a few hours, however, and Cardiff’s city centre will be transformed into an atmospheric cauldron when the Six Nations kicks off tonight.
Wales take on England in this year’s tournament curtain-raiser, and the first Friday night clash between the old rivals has Cardiff buzzing.
Pubs and bars are braced for a hectic evening and the police will be out in force, but not everyone is keen on the timing of the match.
Gareth Owen, managing director of Dragon Taxi, said: “Friday night rugby is the devil’s own work. It turns the entire city into gridlock.”
“We’ll have 250 cars out tonight and we’re expecting double the usual demand. Fridays are busy enough as it is – rugby should be played on a Saturday or Sunday.”
Friday night rugby is a brighter prospect for Cardiff’s bars, which are set for an exceptionally busy night.
Chris Rowlands, manager of The Goat Major pub on St Mary Street, said: “International match days bring millions and millions of pounds into the local economy.
“We’ve had to increase our beer orders by about 40 percent and also have to employ more bar staff and security.”
The Goat Major is one of the smaller pubs on St Marys Street, but even this cosy establishment has to make huge adjustments.
Mr Rowlands said: “We’re bringing in an extra 12 nine-gallon casks of real ale, as well as 12 eleven-gallon casks of beer and cider.”
In doing so, The Goat Major will almost be doubling its orders to more than 500 gallons worth of beer, which equates to 4,000 pints.
When Wales last played England in Cardiff in 2009, The Yard Bar and Kitchen recorded sales 250 per cent higher than a usual Saturday.
The Yard is reopening this evening after refurbishment work, and the match promises to provide the bar with a baptism of fire.
Security regulations mean bars have to use plastic cups on matchdays, and staff at The Yard expect to use as many as 10,000 cups tonight.
Should The Yard shift the estimated amount of pints, the beer consumed in this bar alone would be enough to fill 83 baths.
Whereas Cardiff’s bars brace themselves for a tumultuous evening, others are taking things in their stride.
The city’s population swells considerably whenever an international rugby match is played, but the police will treat tonight like any other weekend.
A police spokesperson said: “For us it is business as usual. We’ve been doing Six Nations in the city for many years now and I do not expect any issues. It’s just another night.”