The Indianapolis Colts will be staying at home this year when they conduct their training camp, the team announced Friday.
After spending the last seven years at Anderson University, the team is electing to use its practice facility on the northwest side of Indianapolis.
The Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, 7001 W. 56th St., does not contain seating for spectators, so the practices at the facility will all be closed to the public.
Colts officials said two practices will be conducted at unannounced alternative sites during the camp.
The Colts traditionally begin training camp in late July and announce a camp schedule in June.
Since moving to Indianapolis in 1984, the Colts have held camps at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (1999-2009) in Terre Haute and Anderson University (1984-1998 and 2010-2016) in Anderson.
Reports surfaced in late January that the team would not be returning to Anderson. DePauw University in Greencastle had been mentioned as a possible replacement.
“Anderson University and the people of Anderson have been incredibly gracious and enthusiastic hosts,” Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay said in written statement Friday. “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.”
Last year, 19 of the 32 teams in the NFL stayed home for camp. the Colts said.
The departure will be a blow to Anderson, which built the camp into its tourism efforts in recent years. The camp drew 85,000 visitors when it returned to Anderson in 2010, providing an estimated economic impact of $6.5 million. But crowds fell to fewer than 20,000 last year, with practices falling from 16 to 11 over that time span.