We at the W&M Sports Blog thought it would be fun to get ourselves even more psyched for this football season (is that even possible?). And in order to do that, we thought a Zable Stadium renovation update would get the job done. As a reminder, coming this Fall, Zable Stadium will be completely renovated. If that doesn’t offer even more of a reason to get down to Williamsburg this Fall, we don’t know what will.
So let’s get this refresher going. The upgrade was announced in August 2014, as W&M raised an initial $22 million in private funds to get the renovation off the ground. An additional $10 million of funding came from the late, great Walter J. Zable himself (after whom the stadium is named). Tribe fans were promised a completed renovation by Fall 2016. And it looks like the Green and Gold faithful will get just that for the season opener, September 17 vs. Norfolk State (have you gotten your tickets yet?).
The announcement came as a surprise to some, but offered plenty of excitement for a program on the rise. And let’s offer some straight talk: Zable was in dire need of a face-lift. Quoting Jimmye Laycock himself, “I’ve had many pro scouts and other people talk about what a wonderful facility we have, but I know and everyone knows, we’ve got to move forward and we’ve got to improve it.” And it looks like the time to move forward is now.
So what are these updates anyway, and what should fans expect when walking through Zable’s gates in 2016? We know it’s been a while since William & Mary announced the project, so to rehash, the upgrade will include:
- An entirely new upper deck seating section
- Fully loaded suites
- A brand new turf field (now with a logo in the middle)
- New press box
- Improved safety and accessibility features
- Wider aisles
- Renovation of existing and addition of new restroom facilities
- Improved egress lighting
- Additional hand rails
- Updated sound system
- Additional concession and retail locations (amen!)
- New entrance and ticketing location
Initial mock ups of the Zable Stadium renovation were stunning, to say the least.
As if that weren’t enough, recent pictures posted by Tribe Athletics have gotten us even more excited. As the project nears completion, it has been incredible to watch the change actually happen. There are only so many “artist’s renditions” that we want to see, before it’s time to actually lay some brick. And boy, was it worth the wait. This next album (courtesy of tribeathletics.com) will really give you a feel for what you can expect when attending a Tribe victory this coming Fall. See you in Williamsburg. LET’S GO TRIBE!!!