koberulz
Last year

AFL's Hawthorn looking to buy and move Illawarra Hawks

http://www.botinagy.com/blog/psst-have-you-heard-the-news/

THE AFL's storied Hawthorn Footy Club reputedly is circling the NBL and looking to snatch the Illawarra franchise out of Wollongong and re-locate it to Melbourne.

There's an obvious synergy between the Hawks and the Hawks and this rumour, which has been soaring since James Spencely packed up his tent as owner of the NBL club, seems to be gathering more and more momentum with each passing day.

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Anonymous  
Last year

Complete joke if this happens.

LK selling out our history.

Reply #676047 | Report this post


Benno  
Last year

very interesting we will see

Reply #676051 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

The only complete joke is Illawarra's game night attendance, I’m surprised they have lasted this long to be honest

Reply #676054 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

I certainly suggested a short while ago that the Hawks were in trouble. Perhaps the recent change of ownership has a lot to do with this alleged move.?

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Anonymous  
Last year

Another option is to move it the Tasmania.

Reply #676063 | Report this post


Tribe  
Last year

Ugh hate the sound of this, unless it is a move to Tassie, which i doubt

Reply #676066 | Report this post


Jack Toft  
Last year

FAAARK! Mind blown

The rumours of an AFL club wriggling into the NBL could be true. The Hawks/Hawks seem a perfect match. Just waiting for the colours to be changed to Hawthorn brown and yellow...

I am really conflicted with this one. They are the last foundation club so a relocation and new identify is a bit like Uncle George saying he now wants to be called Uncle Jim

Reply #676067 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Uncle George would actually want to be called Aunt Jen is this modern day PC world.

Foundation club and all, if they are not financially viable then i can understand LK looking at options. Would be a pity to see them go, so i hope all those in and around the Gong are doing everything they can to show LK etc.. they can actually make it work. Would like to see HFC or whoever ADDED to the numbers in the league and not just a 1 for 1 replacement.

Reply #676068 | Report this post


Haz  
Last year

I would have preferred AFL expanding the NBL rather than moving an existing club. But the writing has been on the wall for a long time at Illawarra. This club just doesnt have the support base or money to keep going in a league that is getting stronger each year. They need an injection of cash and competitiveness and its not going to happen in Illawarra under their current system.



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BB4  
Last year

Don't tell Dan Muller he will be inconsolable

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MattyG  
Last year

Could move to Tasmania, hawthorns links there are strong.

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LV  
Last year

Well the Hawks will no longer be most ppls second favourite NBL team then...

This would certainly add some early juice to the Melbourne rivalry!

Reply #676080 | Report this post


Luuuc  
Last year

Could move to Tasmania, hawthorns links there are strong.

Are they though? I'm not so sure.
I know Tassie hands them a lot of money to play some games there, and Tasmanian AFL fans want to see games (whichever team happens to play there), but I don't know that it has exactly been a success story.
Someone in Melbourne would know better than I do, but despite all their dominance over the past decade, it doesn't feel to me like Hawthorn are a superclub either (the way that say Collingwood is) and half-arsing it between Melbourne & Tas only adds to that impression for me.

I wonder if splitting games between Melbourne & Tassie is something they'd want to do with their basketball team as well. I guess that's more gov't money they could get themselves.

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Anonymous  
Last year

How about NRL supporters, you're alienating them by linking NBL so closely to AFL. Bad move.

Reply #676085 | Report this post


LV  
Last year

Hawthorn is absolutely a superclub in the same way Collingwood is.

Off field in terms of profits, membership numbers and the like, you will find they are right at the top.

In terms of the general vibe around town it's always dependent on on field success. So this year is huge for them - can they recover and get back into finals?

But Collingwood has been starved of success too.

Tassie has been a big success imo. When you're selling out a ground that holds 20,000 ppl in a town of 100,000 what more can you do?

(Not a Hawthorn fan btw. I hate em! But credit where it's due).

Reply #676086 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

AFL does not equal success. Just look at AFLW and AFLX and that is something the AFL really needed to work.

Reply #676092 | Report this post


Luuuc  
Last year

Cheers LV

Reply #676093 | Report this post


Isaac  
Last year

This is April 1st territory, but it makes some sense. Not surprised at all that LK would be looking at ways to minimise the regional exposure.

Reply #676097 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

My gut tells me it might be a move to Tassie. Based on their connections and I could see Tassie helping them out a bit financially with the move.

Reply #676105 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

"This is April 1st territory"

Let's hope so.

Reply #676106 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

canberra would seem more likely than melb or tassie

Reply #676107 | Report this post


Ariel 86  
Last year

What's the advantage of moving the hawks away from illawara over just starting a new franchise themselves?

Reply #676113 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Presumably moving a team looks better than yet another team folding its tent. Maybe it's just PR spin. Even though the reality is that the Hawks are all but gone. The sad truth is that Illawarra isn’t sustainable with the current owner. Spenceley got out as fast as he could. The current GM is gone as well apparently. The league is trying to find a buyer for them but one way or another we could have seen the final season of the Hawks in Wollongong.

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Anonymous  
Last year

I'm assuming rebranding/relocating is cheaper, easier and faster than setting up a completely new license/franchise. While they'd do a pretty big overhaul they have at least some sort of foundation to build on.

Plus like anon said 'rellocating' sounds better than a team folding and then another franchise starting up later.

Reply #676120 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Poo and piss.

Serves the Gong right for not supporting the club.

Reply #676121 | Report this post


ME  
Last year

"Complete joke if this happens.

LK selling out our history."

Well here's a clue - TURN UP TO A F***KING GAME!

Thw NBL aren't running a charity here and Wollongong crowds have sucked for years.

Reply #676124 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

It is understood the Hawks currently still have a substantial debt of more than $350,000.

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Anonymous  
Last year

Don't know why the st George-Illawarra nrl club club look it, very profitable club and deep fan base covering a large part Sydney south and south coast.

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Anonymous  
Last year

This whole rumour has been shot down by Aussie Hoopla

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Anonymous  
Last year

Well it must be true then.

Reply #676146 | Report this post


LoveBroker  
Last year

I don't want to see Illawarra Hawks gone, because they do have a rich history.

However, if you tell me that :
- Someone is willing to pump money into a struggling club - Bring it to a bigger market.
- And that someone was one of the biggest names in the Australian sporting landscape.

...I'd be open to Illawarra joining the ranks of Geelong Supercats, Tassie Devils, Newcastle Falcons, Hunter Pirates, Singapore Slingers, Townsville Crocs and Melbourne Tigers.

This is a good step in the right direction. We want investment in teams by strong individuals (not called Johnstone or Groves) or organisations.

The Hawks punch above their weight generally but this year has really exposed Cairns and Illawarra when almost all teams improve and they stay stagnant.

History is important, but so is the future.

Reply #676150 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5266730/hawks-wont-be-flying-south-stratford/

Reply #676152 | Report this post


Reality  
Last year

Hawks doing due diligence and the bid involves other private investors.

Leverage Hawks admin/marketing but team won't be called Hawthorn or use there colors.


Only way the relocation gets up is team will play some home games in Tasmania as league doesn't want full time Tassie team so this option ticks a few boxes plus they don't want a second full time team in Melbourne to have games on the same weekend as United already do, i.e 1 game in town each week only so the Tassie games can make this work.

Lots of water to go under the Bridge but Hawks see alot of potential to leverage more revenue in summer and secure future in Tassie over North Melbourne for those government dollars as they present a 12 month package.



Reply #676153 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5266730/hawks-wont-be-flying-south-stratford

Reply #676156 | Report this post


Jack Toft  
Last year

Well if the Mercury say it's aint happening....

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AshT  
Last year

Hawthorn had one of the lowest supporter bases 30-40years ago but that has turned around big time on the back of a heap of premierships.

Reply #676195 | Report this post


Proud  
Last year

So how much was the average tickets of Illawarra Hawks games?

I mean if they are getting say 3000 people in at exorbitant prices then wouldn't 6000 fans at cheaper prices be more appealing.

Dragons really need to make a move and save this organization and if they run a deal on memberships for both clubs or member of one then they get whatever at the other then they could get the fans back to the games.

Reply #676265 | Report this post


Haz  
Last year

Proud, they werent even getting 3000 to their games. Most of their games drew between 2100 and 2800 only. I think they only once got more than 3000 and that was the NYE game (if i recall)

No idea what their ticket prices were but i would doubt they'd be at Perth or Melbourne prices. Just no demand for them at all playing in a venue less than half full.

This club really needs its so called strong community to actually get behind them or they will be gone from that region. And that may just be for the best.

Reply #676285 | Report this post


Three to make two  
Last year

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

Reply #677246 | Report this post


UseTaHoop  
Last year

With the size of their crowds, it would be very difficult for the Hawks to leverage their way into a share of the catering revenue.

Perhaps they could try to renegotiate the venue hire costs, but again that's difficult if there’s no viable alternative. How much demand is there for the WEC by other " “tenants" or users?

Do they still play pre-season games in places like Bomaderry and Moss Vale? If so, the local associations could work with the Hawks to make a day of it, with meet the players etc, and sell memberships and merchandise there. Invite local business people there and sell smaller-scale sponsor packages too. The Illawarra no longer has its own NRL team, so there’s more home games for the Hawks than there is for the NRL team (I think they play 2-4 games in Wollongong). Business networking in Wollongong/ Illawarra isn’t easy, but the Hawks’ management needs to try to engage.



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