This will only be the third time the stage has been replaced in the auditorium’s 120-year history. The current stage was installed in 1951 and has lasted far beyond what anyone could have guessed.
Although The Grand Ole Opry moved its operations to the Opry House in 1974, the Ryman is still the building most associated with it. The auditorium has hosted a number of significant performers and shows throughout history and holds a special place in the heart of the country music industry.
The stage will be replaced with a medium brown Brazilian teak that will be extremely durable and also camera friendly, an important aspect that is often overlooked. It will retain an 18-inch lip of the blonde oak at the front of the stage, similar to the way the Ryman stage was commemorated in a circle of wood at the new Opry House.
Beneath the stage, the original hickory support beams will be kept and reinforced with concrete foundations, crossbeams and joist work that will help triple the stage’s load capacity.
The new stage work and installation will begin on Feb. 4 and is expected to be completed on Feb. 20, just in time for country hit duo The Band Perry to make its Ryman debut with a sold-out show.