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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Night into day

   April 23, 2003 -- The Buffalo Sabres' ownership situation, for so long a rock under the Knox brothers, had wandered into the wilderness for several years. The names of the members of the Rigas family and Mark Hamister had proven that point.

   That journey finally ended when Rochester's B. Thomas Golisano officially, and finally, took control of the team.

   "The deal has been closed," Golisano said at a news conference on the floor of HSBC Arena. "The Buffalo Sabres are secure and stable in their home in Buffalo."    Golisano had been in the mix to buy the team when Rigas' Adelphia Communications Corporation imploded, but he initially lost out to Hamister. When Hamister's bid didn't come together, Golisano became the last hope to keep the team in Buffalo.

   Golisano acted quickly to lure some of the Sabres' fans back, as he lowered season-ticket prices to 2001-02 levels. Then he named Larry Quinn, the former president of the team, to the title of managing partner.

   "[Quinn] "did a tremendous job in negotiating us through this entire project," Golisano said.

--- Budd Bailey

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