Hawthorn CEO Ash Klein, president Andy Gowers, AFL player Changkuoth Jiath, AFLW player Kaitlyn Ashmore, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, AFLW player Tilly Lucas-Rodd, AFL player James Sicily and AFL coach Sam Mitchell. Picture: AFL Photos

HAWTHORN hopes to have AFLW games at its new base in 2025 after a soil-turning ceremony attended by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signalled the official start of construction on the $100 million project.

The Hawks bought the 28-hectare property on a former landfill site in Dingley in Melbourne's south-east in 2016, with work finally underway after a series of delays.

Stage one includes a pavilion and an MCG-sized oval, where AFLW matches will be played.

As well as shifting their administration headquarters from Waverley Park, the Hawks will also boast an indoor training and aquatic centre at their new home. 

Hawthorn president Andy Gowers said the Hawks will have the best facilities to be shared equally by their men's and women's players.

"We're targeting the second half of 2025 to move here," Gowers said on Friday.


"(In) 2026 for the men and maybe even the 2025 AFLW season, hopefully.

"It's a potential home ground for us in the AFLW competition which would be pretty amazing, to host games here on a regular basis and give our women an opportunity to train and play here.

"We will have a grandstand but the oval itself will be able to fit thousands of people."

He said Hawthorn was yet to decide what it will do with the Waverley Park facility, which has a heritage-listed grandstand.

"We'd like to still have a presence there but we're not sure what will happen to Waverley, whether we lease it out or sell out, there's decisions that need to be made and we're weighing it up as we speak.

Hawthorn president Andy Gowers chats with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at The Kennedy Centre on February 9, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"We're not looking to build on the oval."

The Prime Minister said he attended the 1991 Grand Final at Waverley Park when the Hawks beat West Coast.

He said the community would benefit from the new facility, improving both physical and mental health.

"It's not just a focal point for young girls and boys to aspire to, not just something for the elite athletes of the AFL and AFLW to benefit from, not just a community oval but also the facilities will be here for local community-based sport as well," said Albanese.