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Don Hansen's Football Gazette Blog of information, comments, notes, and tidebits on Small College Football. NCAA 1-AA & Mid Major, Division II & Mid Major, Division III, NAIA, and NCCAA

Friday, June 17, 2005

$650,000 Gift Will Bring Lights and Night Football to College of William and Mary's Zable Stadium

Williamsburg - The College of William and Mary Athletics Department has received a $650,000 gift to install lights at Zable Stadium and the adjacent football practice field. The gift, from an individual who wishes to remain anonymous, will return the excitement and economic benefits of nighttime football to Williamsburg.

"We are undertaking the permitting process required for the new lighting," said Tribe Athletic Director Terry Driscoll. "As part of that process, we will be meeting with city officials and groups of citizens within the next two weeks to explain the scope of the lighting project and the tentative plans for its use. We want to have a thorough discussion of these matters, and we will do everything possible to make sure our night games do not adversely impact our Williamsburg neighbors."

The proposed system to be installed at the stadium and the practice field will use the latest technology in lighting fixtures to meet the necessary requirements for games and practices with minimal impact from light spillage on the surrounding area.

If the permitting process is completed in time the lights could be in place early this fall. The first possible night event would be the November 5th game with James Madison University, a rematch of last year’s NCAA national semifinal game. The playoff game against the Dukes, which was a nationally televised sellout, was the first night game played in Zable Stadium since it was first opened in 1935. In future years the expectation is that there would be on average two night games per year.

"Because of last year’s success and the strong leadership of head coach Jimmye Laycock, there is a great deal of enthusiasm for Tribe football," said Driscoll. "The generosity of the donor, for which we are most appreciative - will enable us to build that enthusiasm with the excitement of night football."

The College is coming off a 2004 season in which it set the school record for wins, with an 11-3 record, advance to the national semi-finals for the first time in the 111-year history of the program and finish with a final national ranking of No. 3. In addition to the on-field success, the Tribe’s football program also fashioned a national-best graduation rate of 100%.

William and Mary will open the 2005 season on the road with a game at Division I-A Marshall on Thursday evening, September 1.

Mark J. Hoskins Jr.
Sports Information Assistant
College of William and Mary
(757) 221-3344


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