New York City's Times Square was closed on Wednesday, the day before the traditional New Year's Eve festivities in the famed intersection, and the nearby Nasdaq building was evacuated due to a suspicious vehicle parked on a street, police said.

Police were using robots and remote cameras to examine the contents of the vehicle, a van that local media reported had been parked on Broadway for two days.

The Nasdaq stock exchange building and two other nearby buildings were cleared of people by order of the police, a department spokeswoman said.

The Times Square intersection was already crowded with tourists and a heavy police presence ahead of the traditional New Year's Eve festivities and the dropping of a giant lit ball at midnight on December 31.

Pedestrians and traffic were being kept several blocks away from the site where the van was parked, on Broadway between 41st and 42nd streets, police said.

This year's New Year's festivities take place less than a week after a botched attempt on Christmas Day to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner. That incident has prompted heightened air travel security.