March 16, 2006

San Diego NCAA arena evacuated in bomb scare

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Police evacuated an arena hours
before a first-round game in the national college basketball
championship on Thursday when a bomb-sniffing dog signaled a
possible problem at a hot dog stand.

Only a few people were in San Diego State University's Cox
Arena when it was evacuated, said San Diego Fire Department
spokesman Maurice Luque.

The 12,000-seat arena was cleared while police tried to
determine if there was an explosive device at the hot dog
stand, said college spokesman Jack Beresford said.

"A bomb-sniffing dog noticed something in a hot dog cart,"
Beresford said. "They got a hit on something that was in the
cart itself."

Players for Marquette University and the University of
Alabama, whose game was scheduled at 11:40 a.m. PST (2:30 p.m.
EST), had not arrived, Luque said.

He said the police bomb squad was using a remote-controlled
robot to examine a suspicious package found on top of the cart
during the routine sweep.

Four games were scheduled for the arena on Thursday in the
National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, college
basketball's marquee event.