During the stage replacement project, the existing hickory support beams will be strengthened with concrete at their bases and the joists will be reinforced with steel brackets. Additionally, new cross-beams will be put in place to further enhance the structural integrity of the stage. The current oak plank stage will be replaced with Brazilian teak certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the same type of wood used to replace the Grand Ole Opry House stage after the 2010 flood. Currently, the Ryman’s oak stage can bear 40,000 pounds of weight. By using teak products, one of the hardest woods available in the world, the new stage will be able to support up to 120,000 pounds. The size of the stage will remain unchanged at 60.5’ by 36.5’.
To honor its role in an unparalleled history of classic performances, an eighteen inch strip of the oak planks from the current stage will run along the front of the new stage. By combining the lighter oak of the past with the deeper colored teak of the future, performers will still have the opportunity to touch the stage where so many of their heroes once stood.
The construction will commence on Feb. 4, and will be completed "within two weeks" — that means it will all take place in the gap between the Feb. 2 Dierks Bentley show and The Band Perry's sold-out Feb. 20 show.
Oh, and while we're on the topic of The Ryman, Canadian chanteuse Leslie "Feist" Feist will play there May 1. Last we saw Feist, she was playing a pretty solid last-minute show at Third Man. Tickets for her Ryman appearance go on sale Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. via this link.