The Indianapolis Colts announced on Friday that the team will hold training camp at its W. 56th street headquarters instead of Anderson, Indiana, or any other nearby location for that matter.
It breaks a 7-year tradition for the Colts at Anderson University, who have held training camp in Anderson, Indiana, since 2010–having previously held their training camp at Rose Hulman in Terre Haute, Indiana (1999-2009).
"“The dynamics of NFL training camps have changed through the years, and more teams are staying at home. Last summer, with weather being a factor, we practiced only 11 times in Anderson. While our camp plans beyond 2017 are uncertain, staying home this summer should help us with future determinations.”"
Per CBS 4’s Mike Chappell, the majority of practices will be closed to the public; however, the team will reportedly hold two practices at yet to be determined locations that fans can attend.
At least half of the NFL’s teams now practice at their own complexes, as there’s a greater sense of comfort, familiarity, and use of state of the art facilities while practicing at ‘home base’.
That being said, it’s a major blow to fans–particularly families, who are accustomed to seeing the Colts during the offseason and may not have the financial means to always pay for high priced tickets come game day, who are the real losers in this.
Not to mention, it’s arguably the greatest opportunity for Colts fans to meet the players up close and personal.
It also denies fans a greater ‘sneak peak’ at the team before the season and also limits the team’s overall exposure to both lifelong fans and potential new audiences.
Former Colts wide receiver great Reggie Wayne was one who didn’t necessarily care for the news–wondering whether current players would be able to seriously focus and honor team curfew at training camp in Indianapolis:
Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear as though this is necessarily a long-term decision by any means, and the Colts could be practicing at an off-site training camp location as soon as 2018 again.
While specific dates have yet to be scheduled, teams typically break for NFL training camp in late July or early August, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as more details emerge.