The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Best of Madison County 2014

February 25, 2014

Colts training camp becoming an annual highlight

ANDERSON, Ind. — Perfect weather. A young and exciting team. And two weeks of nothing but football.

No wonder the 2013 Indianapolis Colts training camp was named the best event in Madison County last year.

More than 40,000 fans visited Anderson University over the 15 days the Colts took up residence. They were treated to an early glimpse of a team that would finish 12-6, win the AFC South and make it to the divisional round of the playoffs. Before a season-ending loss to New England, the Colts also put together the fan-voted best sports moment of 2013, a 28-point, second-half comeback against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC wild card playoff game.

After such an exciting season, next year’s camp should be even better.

The Colts will return to Anderson University for a fifth consecutive summer to prepare for the season. Jim Irsay made the announcement on his Twitter account on New Year’s Eve, praising the city and its residents as excellent training camp hosts.

“The people in Anderson are so friendly and welcoming each summer,” Irsay tweeted. “True blue Colts fans. Great city in the heartland.”

This is Anderson University’s second stint as the home of the Colts’ training camp. The first began during the team’s first season in Indiana in 1984 and ran through Peyton Manning’s rookie season in 1998. After 11 camps at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, the Colts returned for the 2010 season with Manning still at quarterback. He missed the 2011 season while still recovering from neck surgery.

No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck arrived for his first training camp in Anderson in 2012 and will make his third trip in 2014, tying Manning’s total years spent in the city. This season will also mark the 20th year the Colts have been in residence for camp.

The news of the Colts’ return was welcomed by AU President James Edwards. The early announcement gives the university a couple of extra months to prepare and be at its best.

"Everybody feels great about the relationship," Edwards said. "And that's what it comes down to: human, personal relationships."

Training camp will descend on the city again in late July and last until mid-August. With a local economic impact of around $6 million each year, the city and Colts fans will be ready.

“Andersonians have the greatest admiration for the Colts organization,” Mayor Kevin Smith said in a city press release in January, “and we’re proud Anderson University offers such high-quality facilities, which I believe contributes to the Colts being the greatest team in the NFL.”

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