On Aug. 26, 2014, William and Mary announced that it had raised $22 million in private funds to renovate Walter J. Zable Stadium. Two $6 million gifts, one from Hunter J. Smith ’51 and the other from James W. '62, J.D. '64, LL.D. '00 and Frances G. McGlothlin ’66, will enable the university to move forward with the project to enhance the 79-year-old football facility.
The renovation project, which is expected to cost a total of $27 million when completed, also benefited from an initial $10 million gift in 2012 from the estate of the late Walter J. Zable ’37, LL.D. ’78.
The plans include a new upper deck, suites and a press box on the west side of the stadium. The overall design features Flemish bond brickwork, slate roofs and gables creating aesthetic continuity with the west and north ends of campus. The renovation, which began in early 2015, is expected to be complete in time for the 2016 football season.
Directions to Zable Stadium:
From The North/West: Take I-64 East to Lightfoot Exit 234 (Route 199 East). At top of exit ramp, take a right onto Route 199 East. Stay on 199 East until Monticello Avenue exit. Exit at Monticello Avenue, bear left on exit ramp. At bottom of ramp, turn left at light onto Monticello (pass under 199). Continue on Monticello through five stoplights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Richmond Road. Continue on Richmond Road until the first stop light. Take a right at the light into the Zable parking lot.
From the South/East: Take I-64 West to Exit 242A (Route 199 West). Follow 199 to fourth light. Take a right onto Jamestown Road. Follow Jamestown Road approximately two miles until reaching a 4-way intersection. Turn to the extreme left onto Richmond Road. Continue on Richmond Road until the first stoplight. Take a left into the Zable parking lot.
Walter and Betty Zable, classes of 1937 and 1940 respectively, made a commitment of $10 million to the Campaign for the Fourth Century in the fall of 1990. The money will be used for athletics, graduate student aid and other various needs.
In appreciation of this large gift, the College's Board of Visitors approved the naming of the football stadium at Cary Field the Walter J. Zable Stadium. A formal dedication was held Nov. 3, 1990, prior to kickoff of that season's 38-28 homecoming victory over Furman.
A three-year letterwinner for the Tribe's football team (1934-36), Zable is more than familiar with college athletics. He also lettered in baseball, basketball and track, and was an honorable mention All-America on the gridiron. After graduation Zable enjoyed a professional football career with the Richmond Arrows and the New York Giants.
Besides being named to Sports Illustrated's Silver Anniversary All-America team, he was a National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame Gold Medal recipient in 1980, and received the "Teddy" Award from the NCAA in 1987, which is presented annually to a distinguished citizen of national reputation and outstanding accomplishment who has earned a varsity award in college.
Constructed in 1935 at a cost of $138,395, Zable Stadium at Cary Field has been home to a solid winning tradition for the Tribe gridders. The first contest there ended in a 0-0 deadlock with state rival Virginia in the 1935 season opener.
Zable Stadium was financed by a grant for construction through the Public Works Administration during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. Improvements in the past decade have boosted Zable Stadium's capacity to 12,259. However, in the 1985 Homecoming victory over Richmond, a record crowd of 18,054 packed the stadium and grounds.
As of July 1, 2015
Walter J. Zable Stadium at Cary Field
79, Opened in 1935
$138,395 - Financed by a grant through the Public Works Administration
Sept. 21, 1935 vs. Virginia (Tied, 0-0)
Oct. 19, 1935 vs. Guilford (44-0)
First Playoff Game
Nov. 29, 1986 vs. Delaware (Lost, 51-17)
First Playoff Win
Nov. 24, 1990 vs. UMass (Won, 38-0)
W&M vs. Yankee/A-10/CAA
Laycock's Record at Zable
Estimated 19,000 vs. UNC on Nov. 5, 1949; 18,054 vs. Richmond on Nov. 16, 1985
Longest Winning Streak
Largest Margin of Victory
61, 61-0 vs. GW, 1942; 61-0, vs. Ft. McLelland, 1946
Largest Margin of Defeat
49, 55-6 vs. West Virginia on Nov. 15, 1958
Single-Season Attendance Records (current seating arrangement - 1997)
11,014 - 2011
10,782 - 2010
10,269 - 2009