ANDERSON – The Indianapolis Colts and Anderson University today announced an agreement to extend the training camp home of the Colts through 2016.
The city of Anderson and the university has served as the club's summer home away from home for the majority of the team's Indianapolis era. The team held its training camp at the site from 1984 to 1998, and the Colts returned in 2010.
"The Indianapolis Colts organization is excited about agreeing to a commitment with Anderson University that extends its training camp commitment," said Colts Vice President and General Manager Chris Polian. "With this extension, the University has agreed to continue to upgrade its facilities so we can prepare for the rigorous NFL season. The city of Anderson allows us to train in close proximity to our home base so fans from Indianapolis and surrounding areas can enjoy seeing the team prepare."
"We are very pleased that a commitment is in place for Colts camp at Anderson University in future years," said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. "The training camp offers an exciting experience that brings thousands of fans close up to these great players and coaches. A remarkable part of the story is the strong support we continue to receive from our community to improve our facilities and to make it possible for our students and programs to benefit from our commitments to the Colts."
"Hosting the Colts and their fans in Anderson is invaluable to the community, said Mayor Kris Okomon, mayor of the City of Anderson. "The continued relationship between the city, Anderson University, and the Colts is strong and each partner offers the other new opportunities respectively. We are elated to make this the second home of the Colts."
Last year in its return to the area, the club practiced before more than 80,000 fans, the most spectators to view the club's training camp since 1984. The club reported to camp this year on July 31 for a 23-practice session. With the team having two practices today, one Wednesday and one Thursday, approximately 60,000 fans had turned out to watch the work.
"It's a great, great venue for us, a great place to practice. Our guys certainly feel comfortable here. They've (Anderson University) done a great job with the facilities, and their hospitality is absolutely superb," said Head Coach Jim Caldwell. "Our guys have really enjoyed (it). We certainly felt it was a great opportunity to lock in where we're going to be for the next five years. We're certainly pleased about that. It (the agreement) takes all the guesswork, obviously. More than anything else, they've done such a great job around here. The community has accepted us extremely well. The crowds are absolutely outstanding. They come and support our guys on a daily basis, and the community has welcomed us with open arms. It's been a lot of fun."
"It's nice. It's first-class for training camp," said Colts defensive back Jerraud Powers. "Usually when you think of training camp, you think of the worst (conditions). Anderson is a wonderful facility. The fans here are phenomenal. They're out here every practice, no matter if it's a walk-through or a full-go practice. They're out here supporting us and cheering us on. It gives us that excitement to come out here and practice every day, rather than to think, 'Oh gosh, it's another day of training camp.' For them to announce we will be here the next five years is tremendous."
After the practice on August 18, the Colts will establish operations at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis.