Westfield Mayor Andy Cook always knew the potential of Grand Park needed one more facet.
“We felt our vision would never be complete unless we were able to join into a long-term, beneficial relationship with Indiana’s beloved Indianapolis Colts,” Cook said.
Cook addressed the success of luring the Colts to move their training camp to Westfield during the Westfield Chamber of Commerce luncheon June 21 at the Lindley Farmstead at Chatham Hills. The city and the Colts reached a 10-year agreement in September 2017. The Colts will open their first Grand Park camp with players reporting July 25. The team will break camp Aug. 18.
“I got to meet the new Colts coach (Frank Reich), and he said, ‘I’ve been all over the world and I’ve never seen a facility like this.’ That was pleasing,” Cook said.
Cook said his goal is to help the Colts sell out Lucas Oil Stadium each game.
“My challenge to our staff is that we will present the most successful, highly rated, how-did-you-do-it NFL training camp right here in Westfield,” Cook said. “It is taking literally a cast of thousands from our city to produce this. We only have 200 employees. It’s going to take a lot of heart and a lot of volunteers.”
Cook said the city will need more than 500 volunteers.
Roger VanDerSnick, Colts chief sales and marketing officer, said the Colts and Grand Park officials have been finalizing the many details to pull it off.
“We’re excited about the ability to showcase 90-plus, world-class athletes competing for a spot on the final roster. It is a real opportunity for our fans to see it in an up-close fashion in a world-class facility,” VanDerSnick said. “We’re going to have a camp kickoff July 25 that will feature youth football teams, live music and fireworks, if we can get the permits in place. At camp each day, we’ll have a Colts City, which will have a variety of experiences, displays and give fans the chance to interact.”
There will be Kids Day July 28; BBQ Bash July 29; Friday Night Lights Aug. 3; Community Day Aug. 5; Armed Forces Day Aug. 11; Final Night Practice Aug. 14; and Bike to Camp Day Aug. 18. The Colts will be joined by the Baltimore Ravens for joint practices Aug. 17-18
Tickets are free, but a ticket is required for entry. There is a limit of six per day. There is a clear bag policy for visitors. For tickets, visit http://colts.com/events/trainingcamp.