It's an interesting discussion and I am kind of along the lines of HO but with a much bigger asterisk.
Newcastle: Ordinarily I would just say no to a Newcastle bid. However, in this case it is very well backed by someone who is very committed to the host city and who has the influence and money to market the club. If there is a sound business plan and the bidder is willing to make some sort of real commitment that will ensure he is still backing the club in 10 years then I swing in favour of it.
Brisbane: For me, Brisbane, Melbourne and Wellington would all be better expansion locations than Newcastle, but I dont think there is any point holding off on an excellent bid (if there is indeed one) waiting for another city. A Newcastle team brings more potential TV viewers and adds interest to the important NSW market.
Standard: I think expansion is good for the league in terms of the on-court product. Most teams are 9 or 10 deep as it is and there are some middle of the range players who arent in the league that could be brought back in with the extra dollars on offer. Just as importantly though, it will create more playing opportunities for young players.
Dillon, Brebner, Blanchfield, Trueman, Garlepp, C Cedar, Cooper, Demos, Dann, Lewis, Walker, Anthony, Webster, Madgen, Dowdell etc were all on the fringe of the league this year and a chance to not to get a contract or just sit on the bench. All of these guys have shown they can contribute and them getting a few extra minutes a game due to expansion isnt going to hurt the standard of the league. There are other young guys out there who could also make an impact of some sort off the bench.
Spectacle: I also think reducing more teams to 8-9 deep will help the spectacle. At the moment the intensity of the defence is incredibly high due to the depth in the league. It makes the games very physical, and while scoring has only dropped slightly the last couple of years there have been more games where the defence has been on top.
In the stadium this makes little difference to the spectacle, but in terms of attracting tv viewers it does and I think reducing teams' depth could be a good thing. The good players will stand out more and imports will have a better chance of showing their athleticism. I would be prepared to cop a slight drop in standard to increase the spectacle and tv freindly nature of the league.
Overall: I think if it is an outstanding bid from Newcastle go for it, we need more jobs in basketball in Australia - it has to be a near perfect bid and business plan though. If it is just a solid bid tell them it needs to be much better to be considered.