Although the Indianapolis Colts were officially founded in 1953 in Baltimore, they have roots much further back in American football, beginning in 1913 with the Dayton Triangles. While in Baltimore, the Colts managed three NFL Championships and two Super Bowls. Since moving in 1984, the team has won one Super Bowl, two Conference Championships, and ten Division Championships. They have a total of 24 playoff appearances, 14 of which have been since the team moved to Indianapolis.
The Colts’ move from Baltimore to Indianapolis was one full of legal disputes and emotion. After years of fighting with Baltimore to get updated facilities, the Colts owner became firmly convinced that the team would not ever get a new stadium in that town. Officials went so far as to place an amendment in the city charter prohibiting the building of new stadiums. Several times it seemed as if renovations and improvements for the old stadium would be approved and each time the deal was found undesirable by one of the parties, causing it to fall through.
Eventually, the owner began earnest negotiations to move the team somewhere more supportive. The NFL granted the team permission to move, causing the Maryland legislature to sign a bill giving Baltimore the right of eminent domain over the team. Two days later, the team was moved in the middle of the night using fifteen Mayflower Transit trucks, all taking different routes. To this day, when the team plays games in Baltimore, against the Ravens, they are not referred to by their name, but rather as “Indy” or the “Indianapolis professional football team.”
In 2008, the Lucas Oil Stadium replaced the RCA Dome as the home of the Indianapolis Colts. The new stadium seats 63,000 for football games, and cost approximately 720 million dollars to build. The stadium boasts a retractable roof that is open for games unless the weather is poor. The interior of the stadium is not waterproof, requiring that the roof stay closed during inclement weather to keep from flooding the field and destroying the electronics. There is also a retractable glass wall at one end of the stadium that serves as a gate and is the largest of its size in the league.
Off the field, the Indianapolis Colts are heavily involved in their community, giving back as much as they can to the fans who have given them so much. Programs include the All Pro Dads, which promotes building strong relationship between fathers and their children, the Basket of Hope which gives gifts and inspiration to children diagnosed with cancer, and the Bleed Blue Blood Drive. Other programs that are supported by the team are focused on helping children learn to live healthy and productive lives by encouraging active lifestyles and educational excellence.
The Indianapolis Colts have had a long and interesting past. Despite their difficulties, they have managed to consistently play a good game of football, entertaining fans of all ages and becoming a contender to watch for each season.