It's quite possible the home fans at Comerica Park would have welcomed calls to evacuate the stadium Tuesday night, what with the Detroit Tigers trailing the Los Angeles Angels by seven runs in the second inning.
None of the nearly 34,000 folks in attendance, however, were told about the bomb threat phoned in to a 911 operator about an hour into the Angels' 13-0 victory.
The park was reportedly searched, but nothing was found and the event continued without a hint of possible interruption. Not even the press box was alerted, said Detroit Free Press sports columnist Drew Sharp:
"You can't blame the Tigers. There was nothing explosive about their offense."
But why not evacuate Comerica, just to be sure? Probably because it was the third bomb threat made to a Detroit landmark in less than a week; the Ambassador Bridge was shut down for five hours on Monday, and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel was temporarily closed this past Thursday. No bombs were found either place, but a lot of people were inconvenienced. Police must have figured that the Comerica threat was empty, either because it came from a copycat or from the same "bomber" who never planted anything on the tunnel or bridge.
So it's a good thing the Comerica threat came after the bridge and tunnel. If it had been first, police probably might have evacuated the ballpark and shut it down for hours while they searched. The game would have been suspended, some fans might have freaked, it could have created more chaos than annoying traffic jams. Even with security stepped up in a post-9/11 world, it's scary to think just about any willing person could sneak a small bomb into any stadium.
As it was, police reportedly spent about three hours searching Comerica before giving the "all clear" at 11 p.m. local time. It's hard to believe they could have been thorough without letting on what was happening — but that opinion comes from someone who's never worked on a bomb squad.
Meanwhile, the Detroit News says the Ambassador Bridge investigation is yielding some promising leads.