Wollongong will tip-off the new season when they host Townsville on October 10, with the NBL draw to be officially unveiled on Wednesday.
The hugely successful New Year's Eve match, at the family friendly time of 5.30pm, was also retained in the draw with the Hawks to host defending champions Perth on December 31.
The Hawks enjoyed one of their biggest crowds of the year as they went down to Melbourne 91-81 in an overtime thriller in the corresponding match last year.
This year's clash with the Wildcats, who knocked the Hawks out of the finals on their home court last season, promises to be an even bigger draw.
The Hawks were the NBL's hottest team over the final two months of last season, surging to the finals on the back of seven wins from their final nine games.
Coach Gordie McLeod was named coach of the year and star import Rotnei Clarke was named league MVP on the back of the charge.