The ECHL and its member teams mourn the loss and express their condolences to the family and friends of former ECHL executive Dave Berryman, who passed away on Friday.
Berryman was honored as the ECHL Executive of the Year in 1996 following the first season of existence for the Louisiana IceGators. The team averaged over 9,000 fans per game in its first season, the first of four consecutive years in which Louisiana topped the ECHL’s attendance charts. In 1996-97, the IceGators averaged 11,433 fans per game, a record which still stands today as Louisiana became the only team in ECHL history to welcome over 400,000 fans during a season.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear of Dave’s passing,” ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said. “Along with his partners, he created something very special in Louisiana. Their initial success is unprecedented to this day.”
From Louisiana, Berryman went to Arkansas, where he founded the ECHL’s Arkansas RiverBlades and Arena Football 2’s Arkansas Twisters in 1999. Following his time in Arkansas, Berryman became president and COO of Orlando Predators Entertainment, and had a return to Louisiana for the 2002-03 season after the group purchased the IceGators.
Berryman is survived by his stepmother, Brenda; brother, Tim; wife, Bonnie; son, Will; and step-daughter, Chelsie.