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Salt Lake City selected as possible base camp for 2026 World Cup

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Posted at 11:19 AM, Jun 12, 2024

While Utah won't host any World Cup games when the massive soccer competition heads to North America in 2026, the state may still have a chance to shine with its hospitality.

FIFA, the organization that puts on the World Cup, has officially selected two Salt Lake City sites as possible Team Base Camps during the tournament.

Base camps are where the 48 teams establish what FIFA calls a "home away from home" during the weeks-long tournament and events leading up to the global spectacle. The camps serve as a hub for teams as they travel to different locations for three games during the first round of the World Cup.

Twenty-four locations have been selected to possibly serve as Team Base Camps in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including the University of Utah (Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City) and the RSL Training Centre (RSL Training Academy Residence).

“Even if a city is not staging matches, a participating team coming to stay creates a strong personal bond with the competition for people locally," said Heimo Schirgi, Chief Operating Officer of the World Cup "It will see them adopt their guests as a second team during the tournament, thereby connecting even more people to the FIFA World Cup.”

Teams that qualify for the World Cup will work with individual cities to determine where the base camps will be located, meaning that while Salt Lake City is currently on the list to possibly host teams during the competition, it may not actually do so.

The list of 24 possible base camps is also expected to grow with other options in North America.