The coronavirus continues to bite the football world in all sorts of ways and the latest casualty is Hawthorn’s proposed new training and administrative facility at Dingley.
In an email to members on Tuesday afternoon Hawks president Justin Reeves and chief executive Justin Reeves said all work on the facility, construction of which was hoped to start later this year, had been put on hold.
“During this time, there is also a need for us to make decisions to ensure the long-term viability and future of Hawthorn Football Club,” they said.
“As custodians of the club, it is our role to ensure there is a Hawthorn, today, tomorrow and always. With that in mind, the decision has been made to place the Kennedy Community Centre (KCC) project on-hold until further notice.
This will ensure all resources and energies can be spent navigating through these unprecedented times. Any donations or pledges that have been made specifically to the KCC project via the Hawthorn Football Club Foundation, will be ring-fenced and protected until the project is back up and running.”
The Hawks were well down the path towards securing funding for the $130 million facility which will feature two full-sized oval, a museum and various public amenities, as well as a new home for the football club. They were hoping to move in some time in 2022.
But with the coronavirus set to significantly eat into the coffers of all AFL clubs, the Hawks have acted prudently to put their preparations on hold and will now remain at their existing Waverley Park home for that bit longer.
The Hawks open their season on Sunday at the MCG against Brisbane and a fortnight later are also the home team against Collingwood at the MCG. Had that game been open to supporters it would likely have drawn more than 60,000 and been the club’s lucrative fixture of the season.