Indy Colts

The Indy Colts page give you up-to-date information about the Indianapolis Colts a American Football team based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Indianapolis Colts play their home game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

This stadium has a retractable roof with electrification technology, that seats 63,00 but can be configured to seat 70,000 and has field turf.

Their headquarters and practice facilities is located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indy Colts History

The Baltimore Colts were bought from the Dallas Texas by a Baltimore civic and sports interest headed by Carroll Rosenbloom on January 23, 1953. The Colts were named after Baltimore's rich history of horse breeding, racing, and the Preakness Stakes a premier horse racing event.

The team color were change to blue and white, the Dallas Texans colors. The Colts were the first NFL team to have cheerleaders, a marching band and a fight song.

The Baltimore Colts won the NFL Championship in 1958 and repeated in 1959. The 1958 Championship Game goes down as the "Greatest Game Ever Played" with dramatic fashion of Quarterback Johnny Unitas
moving the ball down-field in sudden death overtime and Alan Ameche scoring the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Most of the credit went to Johnny Unitas, running back Lenny Moore, and wide receiver Raymond Berry.

I remember watching QB Bert Jones, RB Lydell Mitchell and WR Roger Carr. The Colts had a good team and they were fun to watch.

Relocation of the Indy Colts

In 1980, Edward Bennett Williams of the Baltimore Orioles and Robert Irsay wanted a new stadium. Both owners stated, that the Baltimore Memorial stadium was inadequate compared to other stadiums around the NFL.

Irsay ask Maryland's Governor Harry Hughes for 25 million in renovation for Memorial Stadium. His request was decreased to 23 million by the Maryland legislature. The plan added more seats, better office space, improving the plumbing but no revenue generating sky-boxes.

The agreement was dependent upon the Colts and Orioles signing a long term lease. The Orioles challenged the football improvements and only wanted to sign a one year agreement. Irsay also said, no to signing
a long term agreement. The funds never came.

In February 1983, negotiation between Irsay and the city of Baltimore deteriorated, Baltimore Mayor Schaefer asked the Maryland General Assembly to approve $15 million for renovation to Memorial

The legislature did not approve the request until the following spring. The Colts lease had expired, and only half of that $15 million would go towards improvements for the Colts,  the other half would be for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

Baltimore did offer Irsay a $15 million loan at 6.5%, a guarantee of at least 43,000 tickets sold per game for six years, and 4 million for the teams training facility at Owings Mills.

The Baltimore Colts played their final home game in Baltimore on December 18, 1983 against the then Houston "Lu u Blue", Oilers.

Irsay began discussions with several cities that were willing to build a new football stadium.

He narrowed the list to two cities : Phoenix and Indianapolis.
Early January 1984, Irsay and a Arizona group secretly scheduled a second meeting but the meeting got canceled when word got out Friday before the Super Bowl of a secret meeting, Irsay canceled the meeting.

January 1984, Baltimore's Mayor Schaefer stated, "We're not going to build a new stadium. We do not have the bonding capacity. We don't have the voters or taxpayer who can support a $60 million stadium.
One-third of the people in Baltimore pay taxes. Unless private enterprise builds it, we won't build it.

Also, January 1984, Pete Rozelle announced that expansion had been put on hold. After that announcement, Indianan Pacers owner Herb Simon contacted the Colts to move negotiations up to the next level.
The Colts attorney Michael Chernoff met secretly to negotiate with Indianapolis Mayor Hudnut, deputy Mayor David Frick. On February 13, the Colts representatives came to town to see the Hoosier Dome
constructions. The Colts owner Robert Irsay was emotionally move by the new stadium.

On March 2, 1984 NFL owners voted to give Irsay permission to move his franchise to the city of his choosing.

On March 27, 1984, the Maryland Senate passed a bill through legislation giving the City of Baltimore the right to seize ownership of the Colts by eminent domain, an idea that was first started with a memo written by Baltimore mayoral aide Mark Wasserman.

Robert Irsay said that his move was "a direct result" of the eminent domain bill. Baltimore Colts Attorney Micheal Chernoff would say of the
move by the Maryland legislature:

"They not only threw down the gauntlet, but they put a gun to his head and cocked it and asked, 'Want to see if it's loaded?' They forced him to make a decision that day."

Due to the Maryland Senate's actions on March 28, 1984, the Phoenix group withdrew their offer.

That afternoon, Irsay made a call to Mayor Hudnut and the City of Indianapolis offered the Colts owner a $12,500,000 loan, a $4,000,000 training complex, and the use of the brand new $77.5 million, 57,980 seat Hoosier Dome. Irsay agreed to the deal, that would set events in motion that would bring about the move.

After Hudnut got off the phone with Irsay, He called his neighbor and friend, John B. Smith, chief executive officer of Mayflower Transit, an Indiana based moving company and Hudnut asked him to assist the team with in their move.

Smith sent 15 Mayflower trucks to Owings Mills and they arrived at the Colt's facility at 2:00 AM the following morning.

The reasoning for moving during the late hours was out of fear that the Maryland House of Delegates would also approve the eminent domain bill the State Senate had, which would have resulted in the team being seized the next morning once Maryland Governor Harry Hughes signed the bill into law.

Mayflower Workers loaded all of the team's belongings and the trucks left for Indianapolis.

Within eight hours of the Mayflower trucks' arrival in Owings Mills, the now Indy Colts were completely gone from Baltimore. Later that day, the House of Delegates indeed passed the bill by a count of 103–19 and Governor Hughes signed it, but it was too late.

All 15 moving trucks took a different route to Indianapolis from Baltimore, this was done as a diversion tactic so that the Maryland State Police could not enforce the eminent domain law that had just been signed (which they would have been able to act upon once the law was signed  to force the Indy Colts back to Baltimore).

Once a truck got to Indiana, the Indiana State Police would meet the trucks and escort the Indy Colts to Indianapolis, a process repeated until all fifteen vans had reached the destination.

Indianapolis Mayor Hudnut held a press conference March 29 to announce the agreement. The deal was sealed on March 30, 1984 with approval by the Capital Improvement Board, which operated the Hoosier Dome.

Two days later, 20,000 new Indiy Colts fans cheered as Mayor Hudnut proclaimed March 29, 1984, "one of the greatest days in the history of this city.

Baltimore's Mayor Schaefer appeared on the front page of the Baltimore Sun in tears. After the now Indy Colts left, and in spite of his earlier stance that the city of Baltimore would not build a new stadium, the Mayor made the building of a new stadium at the top of his legislative agenda.

The Indy Colts drafted Hall of Famers Payton Manning QB, Marvin Harrison WR Jeff Saturday C and Reggie Wayne WR, other player include Dwight Clark, Dwight Freeney DE, Robert Mathis DE, Bob Sanders S, Antoine Bethea S and Adam Vinatieri K.

The Indianapolis Colts are a winning franchise with a team owner who wants to win. They have accomplished:

  • 1 Super Bowl
  • Won 2 Divisional titles in the AFC East and AFC South
  • 11 Division Championships
  • 2 AFC Championships

The Baltimore and Indianapolis Colts have accomplished:

  • 2 Super Bowls
  • 3 Championships
  • 7 AFC Championships
  • 16 Divisional Championships

Indy Colts

Build Your Own Web Page

Do you have comments, opinions or stories about the Indianapolis Colts? If you submit them here, other visitors can read them, rate them and comment on them. Your E-mail is not required.