The last leg of our Indy sports facilities tour came at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, where the Indianapolis Colts practice. Outside of games at Lucas Oil Stadium, all other Colts related activities and offices are housed at the Football Center. Greg Hylton, Vice President of Premium Seating and Ticket Sales, was our guide for the afternoon. Greg showed us all the aspects of the building and facilities that he could while some areas were off-limits since they were in use by players. We started out in the Memorabilia Room, which would make any sports collector turn green with envy. Everything from jerseys, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, to old helmets were featured. In one corner, they had the actual lockers of a few Colts legends, including Peyton Manning. The Colts’ management’s sense of humor was on display with a box that was to be added to a table labeled “Game worn D’Qwell Jackson jersey and gloves. Also Colts air gauge from AFC Championship Game with New England 1/18/15.”
From there we walked through the hallways of the administrative staff office space. We stopped for a quick look at the radio studio where the Colts broadcast a radio show featuring coaches and players throughout the year. We then moved to the Pavilion, which is a large room where the players, coaches, and staff eat and meet. The room can hold 400 to 500 people; so several departments use it as a hosting tool for prospective clients. We stepped into the players’ lounge where they can play pool, ping-pong, shuffleboard, poker, video games or just hang out. Greg then led us into the indoor practice facility where the team practices when the weather is less than ideal, which in Indiana can be at any time. The facility also has two outdoor fields, one with Fieldturf and the other with natural grass.
Greg capped off our visit in the media room with a question and answer session. On par with the other professionals we have talked with this week, he was extremely informative and generous with his time. He provided insight on how to get into the sports career field and then how to be successful once you’re there. He talked about the importance of hard work and networking. If there is one thing that I’ve learned this week it is that you must be willing to work hard no matter what position you have and you have to make connections wherever you go.
–Lillie-Anne Mulligan, student in the Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration program