Ryman Auditorium to undergo $14 million expansion - WSMV News 4

Ryman Auditorium to undergo $14 million expansion

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The Mother Church of Country Music is about to undergo a major expansion.

The $14 million expansion at Ryman Auditorium won't affect the main venue but will take place in the newer part of the building, which is accessible from 4th Avenue.

A new brick-and-glass structure is being added to extend the building all the way to the street.

Some of the biggest names in country music and bluegrass were on hand for the announcement on Thursday, reminiscing about what the Ryman means to them.

"There's something about this building that no one can not feel when they're here. There's a spirit here and it's a good thing. So, to me, this is so important spiritually, the Ryman. But musically, it's everything," said bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs.

"I was 13 when I got off the bus for a weekend. The bus station used to be right across the street. And the fellow who was supposed to pick me up didn't show up at 2:00 in the morning. I thought I was at the wrong the place so I walked around the street and came face-to-face with the Ryman. And it drove me to my knees. I was 13 and at that time it was 70-something years old. And it was tired. She was sick and she was in bad need of love and repair, but it was like a kid that loved baseball, if you were a Yankees fan standing in front of Yankee stadium, and I felt a sense of belonging behind these doors," said country star Marty Stuart.

The box office, restrooms and concessions area will be renovated as part of the expansion and a new cafe is being added.

The work should be completed by July of 2015.

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