It was announced by Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment on Thursday that it would be putting on an annual basketball classic for the major Utah college basketball programs. The event will begin in 2017 and will be called the Zions Bank Beehive Classic.
The classic will be a four team event with Utah, BYU, Utah State and Weber State being the participants. The games will all be played in Vivant Arena and is scheduled to take place in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with the opponents rotating each year in a round robin format, so each team will have played each other by 2019.
Here is the schedule released for the event:
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017
BYU vs. Weber State
Utah vs. Utah State
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
Utah State vs. Weber State
Utah vs. BYU
Saturday, Dec. 14th 2009
Weber State vs. Utah
BYU vs. Utah State
The games will be played in a double header format with the second game beginning following shortly after the conclusion of the first game. Tickets to the event will be valid for both games each year. Each school will be given an allotment of 4,500 tickets to sell to their fans.
Utah and BYU will be taking a hiatus from playing each other this upcoming season and have a 2017 game already scheduled against each other that will not be part of the event. They will meet again in 2018 as part of the Beehive Classic. The event will also renew a Utah - Utah state rivalry that has not been played on the basketball court since the 2010-11 season.
The event will be a cool way to get all the state's big programs into one arena at the same time for fans to enjoy. It would be interesting to see this be a two day event with a double header one day and the winners of each game playing the following day for a "State Championship", but unfortunately that is not the way it is set up. Either way it guarantees fans will have some good in state matchups to watch for three straight season beginning in 2017.