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STATE BOARD APPROVES CROSSROADS LOAN

A $25 million state loan was approved Thursday for Crossroads Arena, ending weeks of backroom wrangling over this and other stadiums across the state.

The Public Authorities Control Board unanimously approved a request by the state Urban Development Corp. to go forward with the loan.

The Legislature and then-Gov. Mario M. Cuomo approved the loan two years ago, but Thursday's vote had been delayed for more than a month as Republicans and Democrats argued over state funding for other projects.

One last phone call between Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Gov. Pataki cleared the way for Thursday's vote.

The control board is made up of representatives of the Legislature and the governor's Budget Division.

The vote capped a day of meetings here with state legislators by Larry Quinn, executive vice president of the Buffalo Sabres.

Quinn said he was "very happy" with the loan approval and thanked the Western New York legislators who lobbied for the project.

While private financing is nearly complete, along with an agreement with Erie County, the Sabres must now complete negotiations with city officials, Quinn said.

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