Cary Field, now the location of Zable Stadium, is so named to honor T. Archibald Cary of Richmond and his distinguished father, John B. Cary. T. Archibald Cary, a former member of the Board of Visitors, donated $2665.00 to the College of William and Mary for athletics in 1909.
In 1927, electric lights were used on the field, and grandstands changed from one line of stands along the west side of the field to a horseshoe arrangement taking in the north, west, and east sides. Some sections were as high as 14 rows, and seated approximately 5000 people.
Plans were made in 1928 for a freshman athletic field was to be located on west side of Cary Field. The old grandstand on the baseball field was torn down as it was condemned as unsafe. Instead, the bleacher stands from the football field were to be used.
J. Binford Walford, the College Architect at the time, drew plans for a new stadium to be built in 1935. The plans were for a concrete stadium faced with brick that would be dedicated in September that same year. There would be space for a ladies' lounge, locker rooms, showers, field room, storage, wash rooms, and a heating plant below the seats of the east section. There would be space under the west section just for storage.
A fire in 1948 on the left side of the stadium burned for two hours and cracked the concrete under the stand. However, the damage
1948—fire on left side of stadium facing west bleachers, concrete under stands cracked. Burned 2 hours, damage not serious (FH, 11/23/1948, 1)
1979/80—renovation; concrete masonry restoration and seating, including backrests for five sections in west stands (BofV, Oct. 11--12, p. 162). New metric rubbertex track, underground draining and sprinkler system. Locker rooms reconstructed (FH, 8/29/1980, 13) 1990--a $10-million gift from Walter J. Zable, Class of 1937, president and chief executive officer of the Cubic Corporation. The stadium at Cary Field was named the Walter J. Zable Stadium by the Board of Visitors.
• $170 appropriated to paint and stain the grandstand and fence of the Athletic Field (BofV, Feb. p. 180) • "Since your last meeting we have, an excellent athletic field with a grandstand and durable fence, the gift of Mr. T.A. Cary of Richmond..." (Tyler's report to BofV, Feb., p.181) 1910--repairs to grandstand at Cary Field $100.00 (BofV, June 1910, p. 3) 1921--A cinder track is in the course of completion at present (FH, 4/1/1921, 3) • new scoreboard, left field, is gift of Prof, and Mrs. Frederick Juchhoff, replaced earlier makeshift one on centerfield fence (FH, 5/21/1921, 4) 1923--Bright Farm purchased Oct. 1923. New athletic field on part adjoining Cary Field, 1/4 mile cinder track with 220 yard straightaway, two football gridiron, two baseball diamonds (FH, 10/12/1923, 1)