Basketball Australia says Newcastle could host games in the 2022 World Cup for Women after the state government confirmed $25 million in funding for the sport's new Hillsborough stadium.
Deputy chair David Reid said Basketball Australia was finishing its World Cup bid and was hopeful the stadium would be built in time.
"We may be able to have some of the games, if not in the actual event, at least the lead-up games," Mr Reid said while sitting beside NSW Sports Minister John Sidoti at Newcastle Basketball's dilapidated stadium at Broadmeadow on Thursday morning.
"That's certainly right on the agenda."
Basketball Australia was talking to the state government about hosting the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) tournament in NSW.
"We've been doing a lot of winning externally and haven't been doing a whole lot of hosting.
"That's been said to us, so that's a pretty clear indication that [FIBA] are keen to give us the nod if we can get to the table."
The Liberals committed $25 million to the stadium as a pre-election promise and included $13.4 million for the project in last week's 2019-20 state budget.
Newcastle Basketball boss Neil Goffet said Thursday's commitment was official confirmation the state would fund the stadium.
The money is there, and we'll start the process as soon as we possibly can. It will be the biggest indoor basketball stadium in the state.Newcastle Basketball general manager Neil Goffet
"Up until now we've seen it in budget figures released last Tuesday, obviously, but having John here we can start the process," he said.
"The money is there, and we'll start the process as soon as we possibly can. It will be the biggest indoor basketball stadium in the state."
The government is working on a strategic business case for its proposed Broadmeadow sports and entertainment precinct next door to Newcastle Basketball's existing home.
Asked why basketball was moving 8km away from this precinct, Mr Sidoti said: "If you look at what's being proposed, it's massive. It's important that we get the right infrastructure in the right area, so, with regards to the plans, I'll leave that to the experts what best goes where.
"As long as the main users are happy with the progress and where everything goes, we're going to back it."
Mr Goffet said the Broadmeadow precinct did not have enough room for Newcastle Basketball's needs.
"The conversations we've had is that they'll put a major sporting arena in there, which might seat 8000, 10,000 people for major netball games, major basketball games ... , he said
"But there's no room for a 10-court basketball facility, and the land that Lake Macquarie council have so wonderfully found for us at Hillsborough is about five times the size of this land area here.
"So the sport grows for the next 50 to 100 years or more on the same site.
"Over time, if we need more courts, we go to 15, 20, whatever we need, it can be all built on the same site.
"That is not going to happen in the Hunter Stadium precinct."
The existing 50-year-old stadium sits on government-owned land in a key area between Broadmeadow railway station and Hunter Stadium, but Mr Sidoti said the future of the site was "a story for another day".
The imminent arrival of a new stadium, which will have 4000 seats and 10 courts, has revived Newcastle Basketball's hopes of entering a team in the Women's National Basketball League.
Mr Reid said the funding confirmation meant Basketball Australia could start talking with Newcastle Basketball about "what they need to achieve to be able to get a WNBL team in Newcastle".
"The first step in even considering a WNBL team, which is more likely than an NBL team, is having the right stadium," Mr Reid said.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly that the new stadium would be in the Lake Macquarie electorate of independent Greg Piper.