SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Salt Lake City Police Department says a “suspicious package” that caused the evacuation of the Vivint Smart Home Arena last night was a toolbox in one of the arena restaurants.
SLCPD said an officer working the game found the toolbox under a table at the El Chubasco restaurant inside the arena. The bomb squad was called to render the device safe.
Most fans had already left the building Friday night when players, coaches and reporters were instructed to leave Vivint Smart Home Arena following Utah’s 113-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Not long after both coaches finished answering postgame questions from the media, a spokesman for the Jazz told reporters to head outside because of a suspicious package. Outside the arena, reporters were instructed by security to leave the premises.
Players immediately headed for the exits to get in their cars, or the Warriors’ team bus. Jazz center Rudy Gobert was still in his uniform as he left.
The arena and surrounding areas were cordoned off for more than 90 minutes, but the arena and area outside were cleared just before midnight.
Larry H Miller Sports and Entertainment later released a statement:
Guest safety is the top priority at Vivint Smart Home Arena. At the conclusion of the Utah Jazz-Golden State game, an employee noticed an unattended package on the main concourse. Upon further examination, it was concluded that we would enact our emergency action plan. Security was promptly alerted and guests were diverted away from the area and cleared from the arena. Salt Lake City Police Department assumed control of the situation, executing its suspicious package protocol.
At 11:32 p.m., Salt Lake City Police Department issued an all-clear and employees were allowed to reenter the building to prepare for Saturday evening’s home Jazz game.
We would like to thank fans for their attention and cooperation, as well as the Salt Lake City Police Department for their responsiveness and partnership.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.