There are 3,000 Indianapolis Colts season tickets available for purchase. This could very well be a blessing to all the fans who have been on a waiting list for the past decade, but right now, it’s a big concern for the franchise. To avoid the possibility of blackouts, Jim Irsay and the Colts front office are making a sales push by granting #ColtsNation some incredible, rarely-offered access to Lucas Oil Stadium.
After consistently selling out for years during the reign of Peyton Manning, the Colts are struggling to sell season tickets following the release of the legend who is Number 18. This has stirred mixed reviews from the media. Did Jim Irsay make the right decision by cutting his franchise player? Do people want to see Andrew Luck? Are fans worried about a timetable for success? Obviously, the split with Manning was emotional, and although many of us expected it, it was still shocking to hear Irsay’s official announcement (What fan didn’t cry during that press conference?). Rebuilding is a big risk, and although I will deeply miss Manning in his blue and white jersey leading the Colts down the field, I agree with Bob Kravitz. Luck may not succeed right away, but he will succeed, and his drafting was the best long-term business decision for the Colts to make. The harsh reality of it all is that the National Football League is – at its core – a business.
To promote season ticket sales, the Colts will be hosting a special event at Lucas Oil Stadium on June 13th. The free event will include a fan open house, a full-squad mini-camp practice, and a select-a-seat opportunity. An event like this is unprecedented in the Colts’ recent history; normally offseason activities are all but top secret. Details and a full schedule are posted on the Colts’ official website.
The best way to attract fans is by signing exciting players, and – as Irsay says – the roster is still being tweaked to collect a group worthy of a sold-out crowd. This week OT George Foster joined the Horseshoe, replacing fullback Ryan Mahaffey. Foster was a former first-round pick of the Denver Broncos, but he’s been shuffled around to four different teams since, most recently playing for New Orleans. The Colts also added another cornerback after acquiring Cassius Vaughn last week. They claimed Korey Lindsey off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals, waiving S Micah Pellerin in the process. Lindsey has yet to play a season in the NFL. He spent most of his rookie year on the Cardinal’s practice squad and was released on Wednesday.
The Colts are also reportedly trying to sign the dynamic cornerback Mike Jenkins from the Dallas Cowboys. Jenkins has been sitting out of OTAs and has voiced his displeasure with his current contract. Can the Horseshoe entice “America’s Team” to part with their talented yet disgruntled player? Stay tuned.
But not everything has to change. Tradition is honored, and former players are welcomed back. After all, C Jeff Saturday has already been offered a front office position upon his retirement after contributing to the successful negotiating efforts during last offseason’s lockout. Former Colts linebacker David Thorton has rejoined the Colts as the director of player engagement. A team captain for the Colts by the time he reached his third year in the league, he joins the team’s front office just two years after concluding his nine-year playing career with the Tennessee Titans. His job will require him to “maximize the professional and personal lives of Colts athletes.” Thorton certainly has experience in this field. He spent four seasons with the Colts from 2002-2005 and was part of the team’s winning effort in Super Bowl XLI. It will be nice to see his familiar face back with the team.
That’s all for #Horsebytes this week! Check back next Friday for the next installment.