COULD CLINTON BE THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO ATTEND AN ECHL GAME?
The ECHL announced that Little Rock, AR, will join the
league for the '99-2000 season, becoming the ECHL's 29th
member. The club will play at the 16,377-seat Alltel Arena
in North Little Rock, presently under construction (ECHL).
In Little Rock, George Schroeder reports that AR Sports
Entertainment will pay the team's $1.5M franchise fee. Dave
Berryman is President & CEO of the group, which includes his
brother, Tim. The ECHL team will be Arkansas' second pro
hockey franchise, following the WPHL Arkansas GlacierCats,
which will play at Barton Coliseum. The Berrymans signed a
five-year exclusive deal with the Alltel Arena board in May.
Dave Berryman said his group considered both the AHL and
IHL, but said the ECHL "offers the most stability and
credibility in minor league hockey today." ECHL CEO Rick
Adams, on hand for the announcement, said the league plans
to expand to 32 teams by '99 (ARK DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE, 6/24).