New owner Dorry Kordahi confirmed it was the NBL which came to him with a plan to dump Illawarra from the club name, but he's adamant there are no plans to abandon the region.
Kordahi, who has previously part-owned the Sydney Kings, was announced as a leading figure in a new consortium, which also involved controversial former Philadelphia NBA general Bryan Colangelo and US basketball figure and businessman Michael Proctor.
Announced on Wednesday morning, the deal will mean the team will simply be known as the Hawks and Kordahi confirmed they will look at taking several games to Canberra, regional NSW or further interstate.
But Kordahi declared the group was committed to investing in the Illawarra region despite removing the name from its identity.
"The decision that the NBL made, they proposed to us what that they wanted with the new franchise, removing the name Illawarra," Kordahi told the Mercury.
"But it's still a Wollongong based team, that's the heartland and we want to maintain that, we just want to look at it with fresh eyes.
"We want to increase our footpint to the greater region of NSW, but the majority of games will still be played at the WIN Entertainment Centre.
"And we're already working with the NBL and Venues NSW to ensure there'll be upgrades to the WIN Entertainment Centre venue.
"So we'll wait and see, if we're producing a great product and packing the place out, we might have every reason to keep our games in Wollongong."
Kordahi said the new Hawks ownership will quickly make an impact in preparation for the next season, which will be delayed due to the COVID-19 shutdown which has forced football season into the spring and summer months.
Their first signing is set to be announced as as soon as next week, he said.
They will cast the net far and wide for a new coach, but maintained he was hopeful of keeping experienced Illawarra greats like Mat Campbell and Glen Saville involved in the club.
"My first phone call was to Mat Campbell," Kordahi said.
"I played against him growing up and I know how hard he has worked and how important he is to the club.
"We want to keep guys like Campbell and Saville involved, they are the Hall Of Fame players of the club.
"You can't just discredit the history of the Hawks."
Kordahi admitted he hopes the NBL's free agency period, currently due to open on July 1, would be further delayed, so the new ownership could build a coaching and management structure before building their playing roster.
"It might be delayed, it will certainly help us out more with free agency if it was," Kordahi said.
"Once we appoint a coach and go through those channels we can develop the roster we want, the first year might be a bit tough.
"But we're not in this to make or money, or just make up the numbers in the league.
"We want to invest in what the club needs and make sure we are a powerful organisation ready to compete with the best."