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Need to Know Colts Camp Info: Schedule, Tips, Etc.

If you're planning on going to Colts training camp this year, make sure you read this.

Joe Robbins

On Wednesday, July 23, the Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp.  On Thursday, July 24, the Colts will have their first practice of training camp.  The Colts hold camp at Anderson University, where they will return for the fifth straight year after taking a break from 1999-2009.  During that span, they were at Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute, but before that they were in Anderson from the year they moved to Indy in 1984 through Peyton Manning's rookie season in 1998.  This will mark their fifth consecutive year back in Anderson.

If you're planning on heading to camp this year or even considering it, we've put together some need to know information and tips in this article.  First and foremost, let's start with the practice schedule.

Training Camp Schedule

The Colts typically hold media-only walkthroughs in the morning, but don't worry, you're not missing much - basically, the team splits into offense on one half of the field and defense on the other half, and the players (in shells) just walk through plays.  That's it.  While I don't know for sure, I assume they're doing the same again this year.  The main practice, however, and where you can really tell legitimate information, is open to the public (which, keep in mind, not all teams do).  The schedule for the open practices is below, but keep in mind that this can change at the discretion of Chuck Pagano and his staff:

Wednesday, July 23

Players Report

Thursday, July 24

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Friday, July 25

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Saturday, July 26

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Sunday, July 27

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Monday, July 28

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Wednesday, July 30

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Thursday, July 31

6:20-8:55 p.m. - Practice

Friday, August 1

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Saturday, August 2

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Monday, August 4

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Tuesday, August 5

1:50-4:00 p.m. - Practice

Thursday, August 7 - PRESEASON GAME ONE: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets (7 p.m.)

Saturday, August 9

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Sunday, August 10

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Monday, August 11

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Tuesday, August 12

1:50-4:25 p.m. - Practice

Wednesday, August 13

10:20 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Practice

Break Camp

Parking, Prices, and Stuff Like That

Colts training camp is free admission to the practices.  The only price that you really have to pay is the parking, which is $5 (although for buses it's $20).  That said, know that there is a souvenir tent and concessions that you can purchase if you wish, and many fans do opt to do this - especially if it's a special planned trip, you might want to consider bringing some extra cash for a souvenir or if it's a hot day for a drink, but that's up to you.  Admission is free and parking is perfectly reasonable.  When you hear fans talk about Colts City, that's basically what it is - an interactive environment for Colts fans to be able to get the most out of their experience with stuff like autographs from cheerleaders, inflatables, activities, the Colts Pro Shop, and concessions.  Colts City is open every day the Colts have an open practice except for the last week of camp, August 11th-13th.  I'd recommend going to camp on one of the dates that Colts City is open if at all possible just to get the most out of your training camp experience.  You can read more about Colts City and special event nights on the Colts website.

Some Additional Tips

First of all, make sure you're aware of the NFL bag policy so that you're not surprised when you get there.  You can read about the policy here.

Secondly, many people have asked me what the best day to go to camp is, and that's really an easy answer - the night practice, which this year will be held on July 31.  The night practice is normally held in Macholtz Stadium and is normally the largest draw of camp.  There's always a little more hype from the players and coaches on this night, as they're playing "under the lights" in front of a lot of fans.  This is the busiest practice of camp, but there's a reason for that: it's also the best practice of camp to attend, and if at all possible, I'd recommend attending that one.  All practices are entertaining (at least to a football nut like me), but the night practice always adds a little something special.  I guess it never grows old playing under the lights.

Thirdly, since so many fans desire autographs (especially of a certain number 12, Andrew Luck), I should address this too - if you're an autograph seeker, your best bet is probably the night practice.  While after some of the afternoon practices there will be a few players hanging around signing for fans, at the night practice the players spread around the side of the field and almost all of them sign for at least a period.  It's crowded, sure, but at least then you're sure that most of them will hang around and sign for a bit.  I wouldn't get your expectations up a whole lot for actually getting someone like Andrew Luck's autograph due simply to the nature of how many people want it, but it's worth a try if you'd like.  I remember the first time I ever met Pat McAfee was when he was entering his first or second year with the team and was still a relative unknown, and I was the only one standing by him getting his autograph, and we had a nice brief chat there.  I also remember getting Robert Mathis's autograph years ago when he was also a relative unknown.  My point is that even if it's not a star like Luck, you never know how that player might turn out down the road.  Of course, I have moved on from those days of getting autographs, but that doesn't mean you have to, and if that's what you like then I'd strongly recommend the night practice to you as well.

If you've got any specific questions about camp, drop them in the comments and I'll try to get to them.  Training camp is a great experience for fans and I encourage all who can to make the trip to Anderson this year.  I'll be there most days, and I never grow tired of it.  There's so much hope and expectation around the team that it's awesome, and it's also just pretty dang good to be watching football again.