Netball Southland says the sport's financial models must be overhauled if the Southern Steel team is to survive.
The franchise has borrowed more than $40,000 and gone to Netball New Zealand for urgent financial assistance.
Southern Steel is jointly owned by Netball Southland and Netball Otago, in an 80:20 split.
The franchise's latest financial accounts have not been released, but are expected to show a significant loss. Last year the franchise lost $45,000.
Netball Otago says it has loaned the franchise $40,000 and Netball Southland says it has loaned even more, though it not yet saying how much.
Netball Southland chair Debbie Hodges says the team is becoming a significant drain on the region's resources.
A Radio New Zealand regional reporter says the situation appears to mirror that of the Otago Rugby Union which has been bailed out by the New Zealand Rugby Union after recording losses totalling $4 million in five years.