ANDERSON, Ind. - The City of Anderson has come to rely on the annual pilgrimage of optimistic Colts fans who come to watch training camp with cash ready to be spent.
It is estimated that the 25,000 visitors will have a $2 million impact on the local economy and business owners are excited.
“We are really happy. These sales from people out of town wouldn't happen if we weren't here," Jeremy Parker, owner of Squeeze Play, said.
Squeeze Play sells sports merchandise at the mall, but during training camp, Parker opens an annex one block from training camp.
Stephanie Burnett came to training camp for the first time and spent some of her disposable income on Colts gear.
"This was on our list. We are on vacation this week. This was on our bucket list to come to Colts camp,” Burnett said.
Andrew Luck and the Colts have established a good relationship with Anderson over the years, but there is no long-term commitment for the mutually beneficial arrangement.
"It's on a year-to-year basis. We hope they are here every year for the next several years. We love to have them and we welcome them as long as they want to be here," Ashley Hopper, attorney for the City of Anderson, said.
The gridiron gladiators provide a gold mine for nearby restaurants as well.
The first and only night practice of the training camp is set for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., and it promises to be a very popular event.
The first preseason game will be Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Buffalo Bills.
Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas