I think a big problem for the Hawks was the venue costs. AFAIK, they are charged a high rent and get nothing from the food and drinks.
Being in a regional centre, WEC has a monopoly on what the NBL regards as a "suitable venue". We don't have a State government clamouring to build venues all over the place so there are no market forces to moderate the venue costs.
Personally, I quite liked the old Snakepitte. So, 2000 people was pushing the fire rules to the limit but no-one died! It also uswd to be that nearly everyone there was involved in basketball. And the Hawks ran the food and drinks meaning they got the profits. As pointed out above, it's not like the move to WEC has opened the doors to thousands of non-basketball people. In fact, I see many of the same people at the game as at the Snakepit. So, there is definitely loyalty there!
Even if, under the current ownership arrangements, it was the local Illawarra Basketball that got the profits from food and drink, at least the money would go to local basketball, not some corporate franchise.
But the NBL seem driven on their path to the glory days, overlooking that in the glory days, there were teams in regional centres like Newcastle, Canberra, Geelong, Hobart. Sad