It's been the Hawks' nest for more than two decades, and Illawarra will call the WIN Entertainment Centre home for at least the next three years.
The NBL club signed a fresh deal with Venues NSW on Thursday, committing to play all home games in Wollongong until 2024. The side have played at the WEC since 1998, highlighted by winning the Hawks' only championship title in 2001.
Venues NSW chief executive officer Kerrie Mather said they were delighted to work in partnership with the Hawks.
"I think the importance of locking in the Hawks for three years is that it's a commitment from both parties to ensure that we can have home games here," she said.
"It also shows that we're also delivering for the Illawarra community for years to come. We know Wollongong will benefit greatly from Hawks matches during the NBL season."
As part of the partnership, Venues NSW have committed to improving customer service and player facilities over the next three years. These include new courtside seating; upgraded merchandise facilities; new changeroom facilities and competition-standard backstops; and new sports and house lighting.
However, there was no mention on Thursday of fixing the WEC's famous leaking roof, which saw a game between the Hawks and Breakers abandoned in early 2020 due to rain.
"The investment we're making is targeted around both operational improvements that help the back of house to support the team, but also customer service improvements," Ms Mather said.
"The sort of investments that we've been making to support the new partnership include the new electronic scoreboard to new merchandise and corporate and premium facilities, but also new house and sports lighting to help the game day experience. It will provide a greater theatre for people when they're here at the game. But we will continue to invest in the improvements in the facilities to ensure we're providing customers with the best experience possible.
"We've continued to make repairs and undertake significant maintenance to ensure the venue is fit for purpose. Some of the other improvements that we've made is we've got new state-of-the-art backstops coming from the US, and they should be here for the new season."
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