Ryman Auditorium Expansion Adds Outdoor Stage
Nashville’s historic music venue the Ryman Auditorium’s largest expansion in five years includes the construction of a new outdoor stage. PNC Plaza at The Ryman is expected to open and host live concerts before the end of the year.
The PNC Plaza at The Ryman outdoor stage will be large enough for a four-person band and will be used to provide pre-show entertainment for those heading into the iconic venue. The outdoor stage was built as part of a partnership with PNC Bank. The $14 million renovation of the former Grand Ole Opry home also includes upgrades to the box office, gift shop and lobby, expanded concession areas and the addition of Cafe Lula.
“We always had this concept of the plaza, and we’ve been conceiving how we wanted to lay it out for the last three years,” president of Ryman Hospitality Group’s Opry Entertainment Division Scott Bailey told the Nashville Tennessean. “We just felt like there’s a missed opportunity to create energy around the Ryman, from a pre-show standpoint.”
The Ryman recently reopened for reduced capacity concerts, starting at 125 people and expanding to 250 attendees. The venue is coordinating with nearby Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Nashville Metro Public Health Department to plan the socially-distanced events.
“We’re of the opinion that COVID isn’t forever,” added Bailey. “We’re planning for this to enjoy a day when people can crowd as they normally have. Leading into that, we’ll follow whatever restrictions there are.”