For the second straight year Vivint Smart Home Arena will host the Zions Bank Beehive Classic this Saturday December 8. BYU tips off against rival the Utah Utes at noon followed by the Weber State University Wildcats squaring off with the Utah State Aggies at 2:30 p.m.
“The passion for basketball in Utah is unmatched,” Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said in a press conference on Tuesday.
In the first Beehive Classic, last year, WSU fell to BYU 74–68 and Utah stomped on the Aggies 77–67.
Last years turnout was not what the organizers and universities expected. This year they changed things up with games in the afternoon hoping to attract more students and fans into Vivint Arena.
Organizers have also lowered ticket prices to try and increase the attendance from last year. Last years attendance for the two game was just 7,729. Pricing for the event is $60 for lower bowl, $20 for upper and only $10 for students.
Weber State started off the season last year besting the Aggies in the first game of the year.
“All the fans in this state, to come together for one Saturday afternoon, to throw it out there on the line and let’s just go compete, there’s nothing better,” Rahe said.
The Wildcats enter their matchup 5-2 and look to knock off another in-state rival, after taking down BYU 113–103 Saturday.
USU is also riding a winning wave, they are currently 7-1, with their one loss coming to the 20th ranked Arizona State Sun Devils.
“To be able to have this kind of event at such a central location with four schools that are so rich in tradition and history is an event like no other,” Utah State head coach Craig Smith in his first season with the Aggies said. “I have never seen this kind of event with the four regional schools all in one place in an NBA venue.
A portion of the proceeds from the classic will be donated into the participating schools to help their scholarship funds.
“Last year, we donated $30,000 to the scholarship funds of these four institutions,” said president of Vivint Smart Home Arena Jim Olson said. “We’re very confident that number is going to grow this year.”
Tickets can be purchased online though vivintarena.com, though school’s athletic department ticket offices or at the Vivint Arena box office.