By Anna Skinner
Beginning in 2018, the Indianapolis Colts will partner with Grand Park for a 10-year contract regarding the Colts’ training camp. The Colts and the City of Westfield announced the partnership Sept. 6 at the Grand Park Events Center.
“This is a huge day for the City of Westfield and Grand Park, it’s something we’ve been working on for quite some time,” Mayor Andy Cook said. “For the next 10 years, the Indianapolis Colts will hold their preseason camp here on the campus of Grand Park. We are absolutely thrilled.”
For the first year, the Colts will pay a user fee of $150,000 to the city according to communications director Erin Murphy. Grand Park will receive all profits from parking and concessions. During the training camp which lasts approximately 25 days, Colts players will stay at the Cambria Suites in Westfield. The hotel sits along 186th Street, directly across from Grand Park.
“When we first envisioned Grand Park, it was for a couple purposes – to further the economic development for Westfield in our chosen industry of hospitality,” Cook said. “It was designed for the American family. Young kids and adults learn to be coached, they learn the virtues of life on how to win and how to lose. This venture with the Colts we feel will absolutely support our vision of Grand Park.”
Indianapolis Colts General Manager Chris Ballard spoke during the press conference, highlighting the fans’ benefit from the partnership.
“Ten years together is going to be a great experience for both us and the fans,” Ballard said. “We understand how important it is we connect with our fans. I think it’s critical for our fans to be able to touch our players. The fans will be able to see and touch our players in ways fans can’t in other cities.”
Ballard called Grand Park a “world class facility,” saying it is one of the best he’s seen in the nation.
“We are very blessed to be here in a place with outdoor fields, great parking access for our fans, and when there’s inclement weather, we can come indoors and fans can still watch practices,” he said.
Carlie Irsay also spoke at the event.
“I want to thank the City of Westfield for having a big vision and taking a big risk,” Irsay said. “We should be really proud to have something so awe-inspiring. This is important from an operational standpoint, but our marketing peoples’ minds are going wild with what new activations they can do here in a family-friendly way.”