Despite water damage from a recent thunderstorm, the Indianapolis Colts are still scheduled to move into new Lucas Oil Stadium next month.
While the playing area and seating areas came out of the storms seemingly unscathed, other areas of the facility wasn't as fortunate. Broken roof drains channeled rainwater into Lucas Oil Stadium.
The damaged areas included the southwest corner where a fractured drainpipe allowed rainwater to enter some lower rooms, electrical boxes and telephone closets; in the northeast corner where a roof drain cracked and allowed rain to saturate the floors of several meeting rooms and entered the data room.
Rainwater also flowed into the underground loading docks and down the drains causing little damage. No estimate on the cost of repairs was released by stadium officials.
"Despite the frustration caused by (the recent) storm, we currently do not anticipate any delay in the stadium's grand opening plans," said John Klipsch, executive director of the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority. "Crews responded immediately to manage, assess and begin the process of damage repair and restoration and will continue working to ensure the project is completed on time.
"It was a big rain. This happens on a lot of these construction projects. Before you're completely done, you need to work out the bugs. We consider this a major hiccup and a big bug."
A grand opening with public tours is still scheduled for Aug. 16 and on Aug. 22 the PeyBack Classic will feature two high school games. The Colts open their preseason Aug. 24 against the Buffalo Bills.
"There's 1,800,000 square feet in this building, and there's 1,200 workers working all over this building, and this damage to this building is less than one percent of the square footage," Klipsch said.
CAMP CALENDAR: The Colts will report for training camp at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., by 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 24. The first scheduled practice will be at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, July 25. A second practice that day, set to begin at 3:30 p.m., will be for special teams only.
There will be seven two-a-day practices and six "special teams only" practices during the duration of three-week camp, which will conclude after a 9:30 a.m. practice on Friday, Aug. 15. All training camp practices are free of charge and are open to the public, although the school will charge a nominal fee for parking.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is located approximately 85 miles west of Indianapolis. It is located off U.S. 40, accessible at Exit 11 off Interstate 70.
• Peyton Manning has been known to write email, letters or to text message NFL players when they retire.
He did just that this past offseason to former Tennessee and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair. But he didn't send anything to Green Bay's Brett Favre.
"You just never know what Brett's going to do," Manning joked at the time. "I'm going to wait awhile and see what happens."
With Favre now reportedly contemplating a comeback, waiting was probably a good idea on the part of the Colts' signal caller.
• Tony Dungy has been making the media rounds as he promotes the publishing of a new children's book that he authored.
Dungy, who's 2007 memoir "Quiet Strength" remains a national best seller, decided to write a book for kids after a suggestion from his wife Lauren. His new book is titled "You Can Do It!"
"She told me that there just wasn't enough books out there for children," the Colts coach said.
The book is about "young Tony" and his siblings who are encouraged to dream big and listen to their mother's mantra, "You can do it and you will."
Bob Sanders expects to be ready for the start of the 2008 season
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Freeney has told reporters in recent weeks that his rehab is going well and is even ahead of schedule in some respects. The Colts' coach, however, is reserving judgment until he sees how the franchise's all-time sacks leader looks on the practice field.
"It's always kind of scary with a guy like that whose speed is his big asset. He needs to come back full strength, but everything right now indicates that he's going to do that," Dungy said.
• S Bob Sanders (shoulders) will probably join Harrison and Freeney on the sidelines during training camp.
Sanders, though, doesn't think his absence will be a problem heading into the regular season.
"I know what I can do," he said recently. "I know that I will be ready to go (for the start of the season). I've been through this before. I know what it takes to be ready. The main goal for me is to be ready for the season."
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL:
The Colts recently terminated the contract of P Chad Stanley, a nine-year NFL veteran who has spent time with the San Francisco 49ers, the Arizona Cardinals and the Houston Texans.
Indianapolis also waived first-year RB Justise Hairston (Central Connecticut State), rookie DT Dan Davis (Connecticut), rookie C Pat Ross (Boston College) and first-year PK Shane Andrus (Murray State). The team must reduce the roster to 75 players by August 26, then to 53 players by August 30.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You have a lot more confidence, and it's just knowing what to do and knowing where to be and when. You're not wondering, 'How do I take this step?' You've done it. You played 20 games last year. That's double a college season. That's a lot of experience. I feel like a third-year player more than a second-year player. You get a lot of experience out there and the way we practice, we practice a lot of things and get a lot of repetitions, so it helps us out a lot." — Colts second-year DT Keyunta Dawson on the experience he gained as a rookie in 2007.