Fans won’t be getting an early look at the new-look Colts.
With folks in Indianapolis focused on the annual NFL job fair, the Colts picked the perfect day to announce that, for the first time since the Colts left Baltimore under the cover of darkness, they’ll be conducting training camp within the confines of their practice facility. As noted by Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, this means that fans will have no access to training camp practices.
Holder notes that two public practices will be held at “local venues”; however, that’s still far less access than fans of most teams enjoy.
Earlier this year, the Colts ended a year-to-year agreement to practice at Anderson University. Per Holder, the Colts were close to an agreement to practice at DePauw University instead.
“Anderson University and the people of Anderson have been incredibly gracious and enthusiastic hosts,” owner Jim Irsay said. “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.”
It’s a calculated risk for a team that is hoping to improve its not-ready-for-banner-raising third-place finish in one of the worst divisions in football. The limited ability to watch practice will undermine the relationship with the fan base, but winning more games when it counts will improve it.
The downside, of course, is that another non-playoff season will make things much worse.