Beehive Classic will be discontinued after Saturday’s games at Vivint Arena

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars forward Yoeli Childs (23) goes in for a slam-dunk as Utah Utes forward Both Gach (11) and Utah Utes forward Novak Topalovic (13) defend, in basketball action in the Beehive Classic, between against the Brigham Young Cougars and Utah Utes, a the Vivint Smart Home Arena, Saturday December 8, 2018.

The third installment of the Beehive Classic on Saturday afternoon at Vivint Smart Home Arena will be the last.

In a statement to The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday evening, Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment said the event will not continue beyond Saturday.

“Vivint Smart Home Arena has been proud to showcase college basketball in our state and host this round-robin doubleheader in downtown Salt Lake City at an NBA arena,” spokesman Frank Zang said. “We appreciate the scheduling flexibility of BYU, Utah, Utah State and Weber State and the support of our sponsors to make the Beehive Classic a reality the past three seasons.

“With the end of the agreement in December 2019, a mutual decision has been made to discontinue the series of games, allowing the arena and universities to determine their own schedules in the future. The Beehive Classic has been a worthy effort that brought fans together to celebrate college basketball, raised funds for scholarships and provided a unique Utah experience.”

Originally a three-year agreement starting in 2017, Saturday marks the end of the round-robin with the Utes taking on the Wildcats at 2 p.m. and the Aggies facing the Cougars at 6 p.m.

For the first time this year, the two games will be separate admissions. In 2017, Utah-Utah State and Weber State-BYU drew 7,729 fans. Last year, with Utah-BYU headlining the event, the 18,300-seat arena drew 10,678.

From a Utah perspective, the Beehive Classic reignited in-state series that had become dormant. The Utes played Utah State in 2017 for the first time since 2010. Saturday’s Utah-Weber State matchup will be the first since 2011. Before the eight-year gap, that series had gone uninterrupted for 36 years.