Robert Irsay, the owner of the Baltimore Colts, was desperate for the city of Baltimore to build a new stadium for his team. The city repeatedly refused, saying that the taxpayers of Baltimore could not afford the expense.
Irsay began looking for a place to relocate the Colts. The final two options were either Phoenix or Indianapolis. When Phoenix fell through, Irsay worked out a deal with Indianapolis. The city would loan the team $12.5 million, build them a $4 million training complex and give them the use of the newly built Hoosier Dome.
Irsay accepted and Indianapolis finally reached an official agreement on March 28, 1984. After it was official, the city of Indianapolis immediately sent Mayflower moving trucks to move the team before Baltimore officials could prevent the move. At 2 a.m. on March 29, the Colts began to be packed up and moved. They were gone by mid-morning.
Each of the trucks apparently took a different route out of the city, so that it would be difficult for Maryland state troopers to stop them if they had tried. When the trucks reached Indiana state lines, Indiana state troopers escorted the trucks to Indianapolis.
When they heard about the move, the people of Baltimore were understandably upset. The mayor of Baltimore was even featured on the front page of The Baltimore Sun with a tear running down his face.