Security has been increased at NCAA venues for this weekend’s Final Four events after batch of fireworks intended for the March Madness Music Festival in Dallas was reported missing on Friday.
Police in Arlington, Fort Worth and Dallas said they were watching for suspicious activity at AT&T Stadium in Arlington and Sundance Square in Fort Worth.
Dogs “capable of detecting pyrotechnic material are conducting sweeps of multiple locations,” said Lt. Max Geron, a Dallas police spokesman, in a news release.
“We are in communication with our federal partners to assist in precautionary measures,” Geron said.
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The music festival through Sunday at Reunion Park in Dallas is in tandem with the NCAA Final Four semifinals Saturday and championship game Monday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
NCAA officials have said they hope to pack the stadium with at least 80,000 spectators for the games.
Dallas police issued a press release about 8:30 p.m. stating that they had been informed that “a quantity of pyrotechnics” intended for the music festival was missing from a “staging area on the parking garage on the Houston Street viaduct.”
“As a precaution, authorities have taken steps to increase security at all NCAA venues and other scheduled event locations in the area where large numbers of people are expected,” Geron said.
In Fort Worth, police were also responding, said Officer Daniel Segura, a police spokesman.
“Our officers have been informed of the details,” Segura said in an email. “We do have officers working ESPN downtown and other events who are looking out for any suspicious activity.”
Arlington police were also alerted by Dallas police, said Tiara Ellis Richard, police spokeswoman.
“We are coordinating and working together,” Richard said.
Dallas police detectives were working with the fireworks company, Geron said. The contractors inventoried their pyrotechnics and determined that they were missing a package described as 11 inches wide by 17 inches long and 12 inches deep, he said.
A photo of a similar device shows about a dozen white, plastic tubes with a series of smaller tubes protruding from a tray with electrical wires connected.
“Additional Dallas Fire Rescue elements have been added to the Dallas venues as a precautionary measure,” Geron said.