By Linh Bui

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An infamous day in sports history. Thirty years ago Saturday, the Colts left Baltimore. It’s a day many will never forget.

Linh Bui has more.

It’s a day many will never forget–news that even made grown men break down in tears.

March 29, 1984. It was a snowy night in Owings Mills. The Mayflower vans came under the cover of darkness and left the city of Baltimore with a broken heart.

“This is when our community, our sports community, maybe the whole of Baltimore, the whole state, got sucker-punched,” said Mike Gibbons, executive director of the Sports Legends Museum.

Fans were stunned and shaken. Owner Robert Irsay took the Colts to Indianapolis after secretly packing up the team’s belongings.

“Thirty years ago to this day, we had our heart broken. The citizens of Maryland, we lost our Baltimore Colts to the Indianapolis community,” said John Ziemann, deputy director of the Sports Legends Museum.

Photos, helmets, even the old Baltimore Colts lettering are all on display inside the Sports Legends Museum. It’s an emotional look back at a beloved football team.

The Colts gallery is also known as the “Tears Area.”

“They reflect the good times, the bad times, losing the team. And a lot of times, people do break down and get emotional,” Ziemann said.

The NFL returned to Baltimore in 1996 and the Baltimore Ravens have won two Super Bowls. But three decades later, the memories are still painful.

“There will always be a wound and there will always be a scar,” said Ziemann.

Even after the Colts left, the Baltimore Colts’ Marching Band continued marching at city events.

The Colts complex is now home to Stevenson University, which held a program on Wednesday called “Under the Cover of Darkness: 30 Years Later.”

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Linh Bui


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