Fans will be the big winners when the Wollongong Hawks turn back the clock with cheap tickets for next Friday's NBL heritage-round clash with reigning champions New Zealand Breakers.
Frustrated by crowd figures which steadily dwindled over the past few seasons at WIN Entertainment Centre, Hawks management lowered ticket prices to $10 for children, $15 for adults and $40 for families.
The Hawks will be decked out in blue and gold replica jerseys of the club's original 1979 team colours.
"We are extremely proud of what we created at this club and hope the heritage game prices on offer will be enough to encourage Wollongong back to the game," Hawks general manager Stuart Wilkinson said.
The offer also applies to the February 28 home game against the Adelaide 36ers.
The Hawks are taking a gamble, especially if it "recreates the atmosphere of days gone by".
"We received extensive feedback this season from our members and the community on how to increase crowds and improve the experience," Wilkinson said.
"This is our chance to test the waters. If we can double crowds by halving the price, then that is the risk we are prepared to take."
Wilkinson and his staff will be watching ticket sales closely next week.
If the offer catches on, cheap tickets might become a permanent fixture.
"This is our only opportunity to roll out reduced ticket prices. For those who haven't been able to attend a game due to ticketing prices, we have come to the party and hope they do too," he said.
"If this model is successful it isn't just a short-term fire sale. We will be taking a serious look at pricing for next season and ideally offer better value for our members and season ticket holders."
Wollongong hosted Townsville last night and travel to Sydney tonight for a duel with the Kings.
The Hawks need to keep winning to keep their slim finals hopes alive and would love to play in front of a big crowd against the Breakers.
"To have 3500 people cheering the boys is a definite advantage and we are calling out for Wollongong to jump on the bandwagon," Wilkinson said.
Discounted tickets are on sale from Monday on 4229 7722 or at Ticketek.
■ Visit illawarramercury.com.au for a full wrap of last night's game between the Hawks and Townsville.