"Thank you for joining us today as we celebrate the first playground in Downtown Indianapolis. Isn't that so exciting?" said Linda Broadfoot, Director of Indy Parks.
On Tuesday morning, representatives from the City of Indianapolis, the Colts, and Downtown Indy gathered along the canal to unveil plans for a brand new playspace for families – the first of its kind Downtown Indy.
"Having a safe and engaging place to play in Downtown Indianapolis will mean a lot," Broadfoot said. "We're building a special place for children to explore, for neighbors to walk to, and for families and friends to relax and enjoy their time together."
Construction will begin later this month on the nearly one-acre playspace on the north end of the Downtown Canal Walk near Walnut Street. Along with spectacular views of Downtown and the canal, the playspace will include a climbing tower and ladder, spinner bowl, twister nets, and stepping stones. It also connects to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
The project is being funded by the Indianapolis Colts Foundation.
"We're so engrained in Downtown. It's where we play and it's where a lot of our fans are and where they're moving to live," said Colts Vice Chair and Owner Kalen Jackson. "We love the fact that families come to our games and that it's a family oriented event and that they make all day out of it – or even some who come from far away, they make a weekend out of it. So now, there's more stuff for them to do and more geared towards families, which is really our goal as well as health and wellness."
The Colts and Indy Parks unveiled plans for a new family-friendly playspace on the downtown canal!
It's also a great way to kick off the Colts' 35th season in Indianapolis.
"We think about us being a sports city and that all started in 1984 with the arrival of the Colts and it's transformed Downtown. We are a Blue Nation," said Bob Schultz, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Downtown Indy. "And today is just another example of the Irsay family and Colts Nation stepping forward and saying, 'Let's push our priorities forward and let's see how we can make Downtown even better.'"
The new playspace will make life better for the Hunley family, who lives, works, and plays in Downtown Indianapolis.
"My girls love to run and jump and play and climb on everything that they can find. But there isn't anywhere that is inviting them to do that without them getting in trouble for it," said Andrea. "This is going to be just a beautiful opportunity where we can play and we can meet friends and we can meet more folks in the community."
For the Colts, that's what it's all about – community.
"Our title may be owner – but really, we're here as stewards for the city and the people who live in it and for our fans," said Jackson. "This is something we know is important to our fan base and to our entire city of Indianapolis. So, we are so thankful to be a part of it."
And just like on gameday, the fans played a key role.
"We're so thankful for our fans because our funds for this are coming from our 50-50 program at the games. So really, Colts Nation, you are the ones who are doing this for your city and being a part of this. You should be so proud."
Over 35 seasons, the Colts have become a part of Indianapolis, helped transform Indianapolis, and become a major player in what happens in Indianapolis.
And they're just getting started.
"The Irsay family has consistently stepped to the goal line," Schultz said. "As Mayor Hogsett says time and time again, 'The best is yet to come.'"
For Indianapolis and the Colts.
A community celebration is planned to open the Canal Playspace in September.