Indianapolis Colts training camp isn’t going anywhere after all.
The NFL franchise ended months of speculation Monday by announcing it will hold camp at Anderson University this summer for the third straight year. Players are scheduled to report July 28, and the first practice will take place July 29.
Concern about the camp’s location began in February when first-year head coach Chuck Pagano said the team wasn’t locked in at AU during a press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine.
That talk began to subside after Pagano, new general manager Ryan Grigson, and other Colts officials visited campus in March.
The group came away impressed, and Grigson said the team is looking forward to another successful camp.
“Our staff made several visits to the Anderson campus, and we were extremely pleased with its amenities and layout,” Grigson said in a team press release. “The university staff is tremendous, and we trust their experience having conducted past camps. We feel Anderson is in a great location to connect with Colts fans around the state of Indiana, which is one of our biggest priorities.”
AU hosted the Colts’ first training camp after the team moved to Indianapolis in 1984 and continued to host through 1998. Camp moved to Terre Haute’s Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for 11 years beginning in 1999 and returned to AU in the summer of 2010.
This is the first year of a five-year agreement signed last summer by the club and the university, but the Colts reportedly have an option to escape the deal after each season.
[Photo: Colts defensive tackle Antonio Johnson signs autographs for a large crowd after a practice during Colts training camp at Anderson University.]
For now, AU officials simply are ecstatic to welcome the team back for another year.
“Anderson University is thrilled to once again host the Indianapolis Colts during their summer training camp,” university spokesman Chris Williams said. “The past two years have been great not only for the university but also for the city, and we look forward to hosting again.”
An estimated 80,000 fans attended training camp in 2010, and a little more than 73,000 watched last summer’s practices.
The Colts have undergone a major offseason overhaul — firing vice chairman Bill Polian, general manager Chris Polian, and head coach Jim Caldwell and releasing a host of popular veteran players including quarterback Peyton Manning.
Grigson and Pagano were hired to lead the team’s new direction, and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in last month’s NFL draft.
“The Indianapolis Colts have had a lot of change this year not only with leadership but also with the players,” Williams said. “We’re excited for the fans to come out and to see some of the new players that will be on the field this fall.”
—George Bremer is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Reposted with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. 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.