ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) — For the first time since 2009, the Colts training camp is not at Anderson University.
Anderson locals said Monday they’re feeling the impact.
The camp created a boom for Anderson businesses, including McIntyre Jewelry. For the first time in years, the store decided against lining their display window with Colts-themed items.
Jeweler David McIntyre said he estimates business at the store is about “15 to 20 percent” slower compared to this time last year.
“It makes it a little harder,” McIntyre said. “It’d be nice if they would come back or bring something in here like that again because it brought a lot of people t0 town.”
The stands were empty Monday where thousands of fans once cheered on the Colts.
Colts General Manager Chris Ballard publicly apologized to fans last week for a lack of access to this year’s camp. The team has not announced where camp will be in the future.
“I walked in the door and the contract was up at Anderson and they had a couple other plans in place and I just didn’t feel comfortable with the situations we were moving into at the time,” Ballard said.
24-Hour News 8 reached out to the Anderson city government to ask how the camp’s departure is affecting the local economy. The city did not comment on this story.
Ashley Teague lives a half-mile from Anderson University. Her kids met one of their favorite players at the camp: Pat McAfee.
“It’s kinda sad,” Teague said. “Anywhere you would go through town, you would always see Colts stuff. So, yeah, it was a big deal to us and we really miss it now.”
Anderson University President John Pistole released a brief statement Monday, saying “Anderson University and the Colts have had a long, rich history. We wish them will in the upcoming season and the years ahead.”
A spokesperson for the school said AU is doing what it can to make campus a “hub of activity” by adding multiple camps and conferences over the summer.