We've spoken about this time and time again with NBL teams, but the same can be said with the WNBL. Essentially you know you need $X M/yr to run that team, you do a business plan and work out all the costs, and then work out where the revenue is coming from, attract crowds, attract sponsors etc.
This day and age social media is the key to anything, yet as Isaac notes, there is nothing on Twitter to excite the fans before the game. Most young kids do Snapchat or Instagram. There's a little bit on "the gram" but a team generates excitement through social media, doing those little PR spots on the news, the PR spots on "South Aussie with Cosi" etc.
250 to a game is woeful. At that level the caterers wouldn't open...
A $500,000/season gap is $35,714 per home game. At an average of $20/ticket, that's say 1,790 people. In essence the breakeven for the team is about 2,000 people to a home game.
Winning games brings crowds, but in a business, it is often prudent to survey customers who don't buy your product and the reasons why they don't.
It would be sad to see the Lightning fold or relocate (maybe to Tassie)