ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – “I pulled in the back parking lot and by the time I got up here they said they were evacuating the building”, said Darlene Geloso, who is a Albany Devils season ticket holder.
Around 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, a couple of items were noticed under a car parked on the Market Street side of the Times Union Center. Police checked the package and called for everyone to be evacuated from the building, just an hour before game time.
“It seems to be common with everything imaginable. Just a matter like anything else, better safe than sorry”, said Jay Jorgensen, who is a resident of Colonie.
Streets in every direction that surrounded the area were closed. The State Police brought in their bomb detection unit to x-ray the potential explosives. Hundreds of anxious hockey fans could only watch and wonder what was happening.
“From what I am told, the items were toys that someone had thrown under the car. These items were beeping at the time and had antennas”, said Times Union Center General Manager Bob Belber.
The hockey game between the Albany Devils and the Providence Bruins was supposed to start 5 p.m. Saturday. A nearly 90 minute delay left hundreds standing in the streets waiting to get inside.
“We know that some people were inconvenienced having to stand outside. We just wanted everybody to be safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry”, said Albany Police spokesman Steve smith.
All sides agreed that this bomb scare was an inconvenience but fans were thankful and understanding of police taking care of business. They said that other bomb-related instances worldwide have changed the way they view police operations and are thankful for the peace of mind.
“Bob Belber who runs the arena came out and said everything’s okay, they were just doing it for safety and assured everybody that they were safe. It’s a part of life now. When we were kids, it used to be duck and cover in the hallways. Now this is what we have to get used to”, said Geloso.
Police said this was not an explosive but are investigating to find out who put it there and why it was under the car in the first place.