Suspicious package prompts evacuation of Utah Jazz arena

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Donovan Mitchell, Ky Bowman

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, left, goes to the basket as Golden State Warriors guard Ky Bowman (12) defends during the second half during an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (Associated Press) — About 15 minutes after the end of an NBA game Friday night, the Utah Jazz’s home arena was evacuated because of a suspicious package.

Salt Lake City police say the package turned out to be a toolbox, and the Jazz say employees were cleared by authorities to re-enter the building a couple of hours after the evacuation.

Most fans had already exited Vivint Smart Home Arena following Utah’s 113-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors when players, coaches and reporters were instructed to leave immediately.

Not long after both coaches finished answering postgame questions from the media, a spokesman for the Jazz told reporters to exit the building due to the suspicious package. Outside, they were instructed by security to leave the premises.

Utah players quickly headed for their cars in the parking lot – center Rudy Gobert was still in uniform as he left. Warriors players boarded their team bus.

Salt Lake City police Lt. Carlos Valencia said the suspicious package looked like a shoebox and was discovered under a table at a restaurant in the northeast corner of the arena. He said the call came in from a uniformed officer working part-time at the game around 9:30 p.m.

Arena bomb dogs went near the package and “got a hit on it,” Valencia said.

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