• National Training Center & Headquarters

    National Training Center & Headquarters

    What is the goal of the National Training Center (NTC)?

    The NTC will be a world-class facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, housing the headquarters for USA Climbing; hosting large-scale events; and providing a variety of training spaces, climbing terrain, and other resources to strengthen the development of competitive climbers (Youth, Collegiate, Para, and Elite) from across the country.

    Competition climbing requires specific terrain with specialized routesetting where competition-style boulder problems and lead routes can be created, as well as speed climbing walls to support the newest Olympic discipline. Without a training center, USA Climbing athletes are at a significant disadvantage when competing against other countries in World Cup, World Championship, and Olympic-level competitions. Our goal is to provide this for our climbers.

    How will the project operate?

    The NTC will be financially self-sustaining. The NTC’s operating revenues will cover ongoing operating and replacement costs with any additional revenues reinvested into USA Climbing to increase support for athletes, foster youth development, and continue to grow the sport nationwide.

    The Utah Legislature has offered $15 million in funding toward making this project a reality, with an expected 10-year economic impact of more than $225 million from hosting the country’s largest national and international climbing events.

    What is the timeline for the project?

    On April 22, 2024, USA Climbing issued a Request for Interest (RFI) to solicit responses from climbing gym operators interested in partnering on the National Training Center project. The RFI evaluation committee, comprised of USA Climbing staff, board members, gym owners/operators, athlete representation, and experts with construction management, reviewed proposals and interviewed respondents from across the country. The committee unanimously recommended two gym operators to the USA Climbing Board of Directors, Momentum Climbing and Touchstone Climbing. On May 21, 2024, the Board unanimously voted to accept the committee’s recommendation, directing staff to proceed with deeper discussions with the two candidates, while also considering operating the NTC independently, to best achieve the project’s stated goals.

    We remain committed to continued engagement with the community in developing ideas as we move forward on the project. We encourage you to check this landing page for the latest updates on the project and ways to get involved.

    We hope to break ground on the NTC in 2025 and complete it in time to prepare our athletes for the LA 2028 Olympic Games.

    Empower Climbers. Elevate Performance. Build Community.

    The mission of the National Training Center is to provide a state-of-the-art facility that serves as a mecca for high-performance climbing, supports the youth development pipeline, enriches the community, and provides dynamic event hosting and unparalleled accessibility – all while catalyzing the financial viability for USA Climbing in perpetuity.

    Forge the Future of Climbing Excellence. Together.

    Our vision for USA Climbing’s National Training Center is to be the premier competition climbing destination in the world, embodying four key pillars – Performance, Events, Accessibility, & Community Access. The NTC will cultivate a vibrant competition climbing community while fostering the growth and excellence of athletes at all levels across the country.

    Performance

    High Performance

    The National Training Center provides our National Team and Paraclimbing National Team athletes the specialized spaces they need to be successful on the world stage in all climbing disciplines.  To create optimal training conditions, setting will be lower density, higher grade, competition-style with higher turnover.   Dedicated spaces include National Team locker rooms, recovery space, nutrition support, and team terrain.

    Youth Development

    USA Climbing relies on gyms across the country to run youth competition teams as a critical part of the development pipeline.  To support these gym efforts, Official USA Climbing Youth Training Camps will bring together youth of all levels from across the country with the best competition climbing resources available in the nation.  These camps will employ expert National Team coaches, high-level competition-style routesetting, age-appropriate best practices in strength and conditioning, nutrition support and education developed in conjunction with our medical partner, USOPC, and local university resources.  The National Training Center and these camps will offer an inspirational venue as a backdrop and the opportunity for youth to climb next to elite athletes – experiencing what it’s like to be on the National Team.  Let’s inspire the next generation of climbers.

    Events

    Typical climbing gym design prioritizes maximum density of climbing terrain and routes for everyday use.  Spectator space is usually lacking and often times the entire facility must close down in order to host a competition.  The National Training Center will be different.

    The unique design approach for the USA Climbing National Training Center is event focused, based on the total lineal feet necessary to host all National- and International-level events through World Championships. This specific need dictates significant overall square footage to accommodate the necessary open space, but the purpose-built design yields less actual climbing terrain than other gyms.

    Accessibility

    ADA compliance does not equate to full accessibility. The National Training Center aspires to be the world’s first fully-accessible climbing facility. Access for the paraclimbing community at all levels will be thoughtfully integrated throughout the design, including the surrounding areas of the building.

    With paraclimbing being considered for inclusion at LA2028 or beyond, the National Training Center will meet the needs of the paraclimbing community throughout, including accessible terrain, exam rooms for category classification, and even pet relief areas for guide dogs.

    Community

    The USA Climbing National Training Center will serve as a beacon to inspire the community through climbing.  USA Climbing’s relocation to Utah helped to catalyze Salt Lake City as a hub for climbers in the U.S., bringing together aspiring athletes from across the nation to train, work, and go to school.  The influx of elite and aspiring climbers brought a new energy within the Utah climbing community.

    Climbing for Life.  The USA Climbing National Training Center will be a facility where developing climbers can achieve their best side-by-side with the nation’s elite athletes.  We envision routesetting to be less dense than a typical commercial facility, leaning toward competition style and higher grades while building confidence for aspiring competitive climbers.

    The USA Climbing National Training Center will offer space for school district access developed to benefit Utah students. This experiential program will facilitate climbing on a beginner mezzanine purpose-built for learning.  Students will carry their newfound excitement for climbing home,  encouraging families to get active and visit their local climbing gyms.  As presented to the State of Utah, the National Training Center will also be open for public access with a sliding scale model.

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