The Indianapolis Colts will return to their summer home of 15 years when they open 2010 training camp at Anderson University on Sunday, August 1. A press conference was conducted in the Ruth Lily Pavilion of the Kardatzke Wellness Center Thursday morning with officials of the Indianapolis Colts, Anderson University and the City of Anderson. Officials making remarks included Bill Polian, president of the Indianapolis Colts; Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University; Kris Okomon, Mayor of the City of Anderson; and Art Pepelea, Councilman for the City of Anderson. Visit the official Anderson University Twitter account for remarks during the press conference or the AU Flickr album for photos.
The Colts selected Anderson as their summer home in 1984, the club’s inaugural season in Indianapolis. The club trained in Anderson through the 1998 preseason. The full squad reports to Anderson University on August 1, and camp runs through August 18. The Colts then establish operations at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center back in Indianapolis.
“We are pleased to announce a return to Anderson University for the 2010 training camp. The university and the city of Anderson always have held a passion for the Colts, and we are happy to return to the area,” said Colts President Bill Polian. “We know this has been a successful summer home for our organization for many years, and we are excited to return. We know people are aware that training camp provides the best possible chance to get close proximity to a team, and we want people to use that opportunity.”
“We are very excited to welcome the Indianapolis Colts back to the campus,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “We look forward to providing our AU hospitality and that of our entire community to the premier NFL franchise. Our sincere thanks to many persons in Anderson who worked to bring about this day.”The 2010 training camp will be located around the Kardatzke Wellness Center/Macholtz Stadium complex located in the northeast section of the university campus. The camp can be accessed by the public via University Boulevard and 5th Street. Campus signage will direct the public to available parking during the duration of the training camp at AU. The club will announce its training camp practice schedule later this spring. Entire practices will be open to the public free of charge. Anderson University will charge a parking fee for camp visitors.
“Anderson is ecstatic to again serve as the host community of the Indianapolis Colts training camp,” said Kris Ockomon, Mayor of the City of Anderson. “We are proud to showcase Anderson University and its facilities to the Colts and their extensive following. Having these old friends and some new ones call Anderson home for several weeks this summer will be an exciting time for our entire community. Welcome back to Anderson!”
Indianapolis returns to Anderson owning the longest current NFL playoff streak, eight seasons. The Colts will be under the field leadership of Head Coach Jim Caldwell. Caldwell directed the club to a 16-3 record last season, one of the most noteworthy first-year performances ever by an NFL head coach.
“All of us look forward to getting camp underway in Anderson later this summer,” said Caldwell. “Training camp is such a pivotal time for any club as you try to put some finishing touches on your team. It is a time of building, bonding and honing, and we know the university and the city leaders will provide us with the best possible atmosphere to succeed.”
The club’s playing roster features only one player who trained with the club in Anderson, QB-Peyton Manning. Manning’s 1998 rookie season was the final year for the Colts at Anderson University. Manning, a four-time Associated Press Most Valuable Player, has gone on to become one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history. He will be joined by numerous teammates who helped the club win an NFL-record 115 regular-season games in the 2000-09 decade, and the club set another league mark in 2008-09 by winning 23 consecutive regular-season games.
Since the last Colts training camp at Anderson University in 1998, the university has made significant improvements to the campus. In 2002, the university dedicated the Kardatzke Wellness Center. The 132,000 square-foot facility connects the O.C. Lewis Gymnasium and Bennett Natatorium at the northeast end of the campus.
In addition to the Kardatzke Wellness Center, the university has upgraded and enhanced residential facilities on the campus; constructed York Seminary Village on the east side of Walnut Street, between 6th and 7th streets, in Anderson; and remodeled Fifth Street directly in front of Reardon Auditorium.
Improvements to the athletic complex have included new baseball dugouts at Don Brandon Field; and all-weather synthetic field turf and outdoor lights at Macholtz Stadium in the summer of 2008. Master planning around the athletic complex is currently underway with refinements to the practice fields and upgrades to the lockers rooms on the northeast corner of the Kardatzke Wellness Center.
Along with Anderson University and the City of Anderson, the improvements and refinements to the school's athletic facilities have been made possible by the following local partners: Tire Barn—Chris Jones, President; Cooper Tire—Rob Wildman, Territory Manager; Jim Brown, General Manager of Hoosier Park; Terry and Joy Smith; Ivy Tech Community College; Texas Roadhouse; Rowland Title—Kim Builta, President; and Connecticut Electric—Joe Brandon, President.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.