Quoting Michelle Obama and insisting it has nothing to do with the election, Peter Nankivell has produced the ace up his sleeve on the eve of voting for the Hawthorn presidency.
The Hawks president-elect was at the site of the AFL club's new $100 million headquarters to announce the agreement with ADCO Constructions to build the expansive facility.
Polling for the board election will open on Friday ahead of the December 13 election, with Nankivell running against 1991 Hawthorn premiership player and former board member Andy Gowers for the presidency.
Outgoing president and former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett is backing Nankivell and it has become an increasingly fractious election campaign at Hawthorn, who brand themselves as the family club.
Asked about the hostility, Nankivell replied: "It's disappointing, but to quote Michelle Obama - when they go low, we stay high."
Nankivell also denied the timing of the construction announcement, a key milestone in the building of the Kennedy Centre, was related to his election campaign.
"I can understand that ... I don't see it like that," Nankivell replied when asked about whether people might think the two were related.
"This is unrelated to any election issue."
Gowers says the state government has witheld $15 million in funding for the centre because of what he calls Kennett's "late night tweets", with the famously combative Liberal elder criticising Labor politicians.
"In terms of the politics behind this, I'm not going to buy into that - Jeff was a politician way before he was a football club administrator," Nankivell said.
Despite some funding not being in place, the Hawks are adamant they will move from Waverley to the new facilities at Dingley Village in south-east Melbourne by mid-2024.
"We're 100 per cent certain we'll be up and running by then," said Hawks chief executive Justin Reeves.
"This project is starting now. There is no doubt around that."
The Hawks are building the new centre because they say Waverley is now not big enough, especially given their new AFLW team.
They are also bullish that unlike St Kilda's disastrous move to Seaford and the ongoing reticence of some Essendon fans about their Tullamarine headquarters, the Kennedy Centre will be a winner.
The Hawks have bought the 27-hectare site, a former landfill area near market gardens.
"This site was chosen over years and years of due diligence and part of that due diligence was conversations with players, staff, supporters, members," Reeves said.
"This site is closer to the CBD than Waverley, which might surprise a few ... it's an inner-suburban facility.
"We think we're in the best spot possible - huge future growth in this area."
Reeves is optimistic the state government will come through with the $15 million in funding.
"That money has been allocated. It hasn't been released," he said.
"We hope it gets released in the short term because to deliver 100 per cent of the community facilities, we need that money.
"To deliver 100 per cent of the Hawthorn facilities, we don't need that money.
"The government has been very, very supportive ... we would imagine and we would hope the government would continue to play their role."