StonePanels International LLC

Seismic Upgrades Needed in Memphis for Landmark’s Reinforcement

If you’ve ever visited Memphis, Tennessee then you probably couldn’t help but notice the well-known Pyramid Arena, which was built as a 20,142-seat arena located in downtown Memphis at the banks of the Mississippi River.

Recently, it has been a topic of concern that if an earthquake were to hit Memphis, The Pyramid would actually peel apart. To avoid this kind of disaster, engineers are planning to install an underground steel-and-concrete wall that would measure two football fields long and 130 feet deep, according to Engineering News Record.

The project should be completed by July, with the help of about 100 workers, and will cost $7.18 million.

The issue of The Pyramid’s stability arose when Memphis City Council approved a financing package to fund the building of a new Bass Pro Shops in its arena. Representatives of Bass Pro expressed their concern that the site for the store was not stable and seismic work needed to be done.

If an earthquake were to happen in Memphis, the west side of The Pyramid could move as much as 44 inches toward the harbor and Mississippi River while the east side would not move. Needless to say, the result would be devastating.

When The Pyramid was completed in 1991, it did not have any seismic design features that would protect it from predicted earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone since it was not required at the time and was only seen as an additional cost.

Now most builders would suggest designing a structure to withstand quakes rather than going back later to avoid damage or worse, having to rebuild completely because a disaster hit.

Whether you’re starting construction from the ground up or you need to reinforce an existing structure, like The Pyramid Arena, Stone Panels, Inc. should be your first choice. At Stone Panels Inc., we put our products through rigorous testing methods to ensure they’re the strongest.

Panels manufactured by Stone Panels, Inc. exhibit exceptional flexural strength, which is ideal for seismic zones. [StonePanels] Panels have passed shear tests, simulating seismic loading, conducted in accordance with ASTM E – 72. They have also passed full-scale seismic testing per CSTB Guidelines (France). In addition, these panels have been tested to resist up to 60 times more impact than solid 3 cm thick granite.

For more information about our seismic load testing and building capabilities, visit or contact us directly.