INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts’ season will be getting started this weekend and the team’s owner Jim Irsay is kicking it off in his own way.
On Friday, his vast memorabilia collection was on display for fans at Lucas Oil Stadium. The event also included performances from the Jim Irsay Band and Hoosier native John Mellencamp.
“The fact that it’s just open to everybody and Jim sharing that with everybody is just really cool,” attendee Brad Stratmann said.
For the first time ever, Irsay’s collection of Colts memorabilia was on display to the public. It includes an autographed car from hall-of-famer Edgerrin James along with some famous helmets and jerseys dating back to the 1950s.
“I grew up in this era so seeing these jerseys. it just brings me back to the childhood,” Colts fan Jeremy Wade said.
Even for some die-hard fans, the team memorabilia was no match for Irsay’s guitar collection. All of which were used by legendary musicians including Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain and Prince.
“I’m a big music fan, [Irsay] is a music fan. Can’t beat, can’t beat it,” Stratmann said.
Larry Hall, who oversees the collection, said it is the most eclectic collection in the world and a lot of the items are literally priceless. One of those items includes a Steinway Grand Piano that belonged to Elton John for twenty years.
The piano was also lent out to Freddie Mercury, the lead singer for Queen, and was featured at the famous 1985 Live Aid concert.
“The last time John Lennon was alive on stage was with Elton John and this piano at Madison Square Garden,” Hall said. “It’s sort of like the Forrest Gump of pianos.”
While the memorabilia was a show-stopper, a lot of attendees were just excited for football and the Colts to be back.
“I can’t wait…it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” said self-proclaimed super-fan Vicky Brown. “They’re going to win too.”
Despite the season not even starting, hopes for the team and its new quarterback are high.
“This is our year, we’re going to do it this year,” Eli Otero said. “They’re going to the Super Bowl. I already know it. ‘Matty Ice’ is what we need right now.”
Hall said this will definitely not be the last time people have a chance to view Irsay’s collection. He said there have been conversations about doing additional tours or even building something permanent at some point in the future.