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Hawthorn Hawks Finalise Construction Contract for Dingley Centre


Australian Football League (AFL) club, the Hawthorn Hawks, have reached a deal with ADCO Constructions to begin the development of the Kennedy Community Centre.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February 2023 and is estimated to take 18 months at a cost of $100 million.

The new training and administration centre, located in Dingley, south-east Melbourne, is a 28-hectare plot on the site of a former landfill tip.

Hawthorn purchased the property in 2016 and have since done extensive levelling work in preparation for construction.

The centre will include a training oval with the MCG’s exact dimensions, a secondary oval and an indoor training ground as well as gym and aquatic facilities.

Following their admission to the AFLW in 2021, the Hawks hope to host AFLW games at the centre, equipping the ovals with the required broadcasting capabilities.

Discussing the decision to move away from the club’s Waverley base, Hawthorn CEO, Justin Reeves, said: “When we moved in some years ago, Waverley was a state-of-the-art facility. Now we’re a very different football club.”

“We have a men’s team, we have a women’s team, we have community programs that we run. Waverley simply can’t fit that all in.”

“This gives us the space and the time and everything we want to deliver in a state-of-the-art facility. This is a gamechanger for us,” he said.

Financially, the Hawks are relatively secure following their recent announcement of a $35.1 million operating surplus for 2022, with approximately $16 million to be allocated to the Kennedy Centre.

However, much of this surplus came from the sale of two Hawthorn-owned entertainment venues as the club ended its association with the gambling industry, so can’t be relied on as a steady income stream.

The Hawks also expect to receive $15 million from the Victorian government but aren’t relying on this cash to fund the club’s activities.

Elaborating on the government’s commitment, Reeves said: “Our team has worked really closely with the government and the government departments over a long period of time.”

“They’re partners in this project; that money has been allocated but hasn’t been released.”

“To deliver 100 per cent of the Hawthorn facilities, we don’t need that money, but we do need it to deliver exactly what the community facilities need to be,” he concluded.

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