Hawthorn President Andy Gowers, CEO Ash Klein and Senior Coach Sam Mitchell were joined by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, along with state and local representatives were present to mark the turning of the first sod.

Construction of Hawthorn Football Club’s new $113 million home at the Kennedy Community Centre in south-east Melbourne’s Dingley village is now underway.

During a press conference, Hawthorn president Andy Gowers described the club’s new home will be a “state-of-the-art high-performance and community base revolutionising Hawthorne’s standing as a destination club in the AFL, both for its AFL and AFLW programs”.

Stage one of the project will see the delivery of the AFLW and community oval and three-level pavilion that will feature full broadcast capabilities and grandstand seating.

Simultaneously, the adjacent Harris Elite Training and Administration Facility will also be built. Named after Hawthorn’s former board member Jeff Harris, it will consist of an indoor training field, aquatic facilities, an MCG-sized oval, a function centre, public amenities, and a car park area with lighting.

“The Kennedy Community Centre will be a game changer,” Gowers said. “Not only will it safeguard our football club’s future, but also create a long-term home for our past players, our members, our fans and the total community here – something we can all be proud of.

“Furthermore, it will be an oval, a facility and a precinct that will grow women’s and girls’ sports and be accessible to the local community.”

The project is being funded by all levels of government. Both the federal and state governments are pitching in $15 million each while Kingston City Council is handing over $5 million. AFL is also committing $5 million, and the Hawthorn Football Club is footing out the remaining $73 million.

Stage one of construction on the 28-hectare site, which is being spearheaded by Peddle Thorp Architects, is expected to be completed by late 2025.

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