Zable Stadium

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Zable Stadium is William and Mary's main football venue. It is located between the University Center and the Alumni House. The north end of the stadium faces Richmond Road. Also see Jimmye_Laycock_Football_Center and Cary Field.

In 1935, the College petitioned the Public Works Administration for funding to construct a number of buildings on campus. Tax-payer dollars, however, could not be used for the construction of athletic facilities. Rumors persist to this day that in order to secure funding, the College masqueraded the construction of the football stadium as an "agricultural exposition" or "amphiteater." Individuals who adhere to this interpretation note the missing section of seats along the fifty-yard lines, which they claim was designed to allow cattle to enter the grounds. The stadium was constructed at a cost of $170,000 (30% of which was supported by the PWA). The structure was designed by J. Bindford Walford and adhered to the neo-Georgian architecture prominent throughout the campus. The stadium is in the shape of a horseshoe with an arcade facing Richmond Road.

In 1979, the stadium underwent a $1 million renovation which raised seating capacity to 15,000, disposed of the original wooden bleachers, repaired masonry, crowned the field, and improved locker and equipment rooms. In 1990, the stadium finally received a formal name - Walter J. Zable Stadium - in honor of a $10 million donation made by Walter J. and Better C. Zable, the former a track and football star during his time at William and Mary. In 1996, the north gate facing Richmond Road was named the John Harvard Randolph '64 Alumni Gate.

In 2000, Walter Zable committed another $6.8 million to the construction of a new football center and improvements to the stadium. Permanent lights were added in 2005 and artificial turf - "Field Turf" - was laid in 2006.

Photographs

Subject File – Buildings and Grounds – Zable Stadium

P1998.177

WMN, 4/24/96, p. 3

WMN, 10/16/96, p. 5


References

  • University Archives Buildings File (2007), Zable Stadium, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, The College of William and Mary.