WESTFIELD, Ind. – The first year of training camp fort the Indianapolis Colts at Grand Park ends Saturday, and the team is pleased with how the first year has gone.
The Colts and the City of Westfield have a ten-year agreement to hold camp at Grand Park. It comes after the team held camp at its training facility in 2017, where fans had limited access to the team and its preparation for the upcoming season.
"Last year, we had Colts Camp at the facility and you just can’t accommodate that many fans," said the team's vice president of communications, Steve Campbell.
This summer, the fans flocked back to camp, and followed the team to Hamilton County.
While camp is longer this year, the team has seen roughly 13,000 more fans compared to 2016, the final year camp was held at Anderson University.
After 11 days of practice, the team has seen 32,000 fans.
"We’ve had a wonderful time up here at Westfield and Grand Park," Campbell said. "This is a world-class facility, it’s not just a great facility for central Indiana."
The spokesperson for the NFL franchise said it’s been a learning experience, too. The team has never been able to choose if it would hold indoor or outdoor practice, while also letting fans sit and watch.
Campbell said learning how to change practice facilities due to weather and notify fans about the change has been a learning process the past three weeks.
In the next couple weeks, city leaders with Westfield and members of the Colts' front office will sit down to look for ways to make the 2019 camp even better.
"Working with the Colts staff has just been a wonderful experience," said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook.
Cook said every city department, along with 200 volunteers, have helped make the past three weeks a good experience for the team and its fans.
The team's final practice is scheduled for Saturday, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. It's also Bike to Camp Day, where fans are encouraged to bicycle to camp, and park their ride at Colts City.
Colts City, an interactive experience, has given fans something to do before and after practice. With plenty of extra room around the park, fans said it will give the team more room to incorporate more events for fans in future years.
"I think here is a lot better," said Ben Green. "This is probably the best place they could have chosen by far."