SAN DIEGO – As motocross gradually gained popularity in the U.S. through the ’70s and ’80s, it found a foothold in Southern California at the now-defunct Qualcomm Stadium.
There, San Diegans and the world were introduced to the “El Cajon Zone,” featuring locals Broc Glover, Rick Johnson and Ron Lechien.
“It was fun to have all the El Cajon boys just dominate here,” Glover said, “and we didn’t want anyone coming into our turf and (winning) it.”
At one point, they all were ranked as some of the top riders in the world.
“They would ask us questions all the time, like ‘What is it? Is it the water or what is it around there?’” Glover said. “It was just kind of a competition of if one guy sets the bar and the other guy comes along and realizes this is how good I need to be and if I need to be as good as him, that’s going to get me to the top.”
It’s one thing to be a dominant icon in a sport, but to do it at home with friends and family cheering from Qualcomm was something Glover always appreciated.
“You had so many friends and family, even before the races if the pit area was open and they would come by and say good luck or say hi to you,” he said, “and there were people you went to school with, elementary and high school with and there was just a really strong support of fans here in the San Diego area of the sport of motocross and Supercross.”
“It was our life and it was a stop along the way,” Glover’s wife Molly said. “It wasn’t just that it was Qualcomm.”
Their kids remember the stadium quite well, too.
“It’s sad to see it go but I mean there’s going to be new stuff here [and] it’s going to keep moving on,” said son Dayne.
“It was so cool like walking into the stadium and get so excited, like ‘We’re going to see the monster trucks or see the Supercross racers,’” daughter Jaycee said. “It’s weird to see it just that little part that’s left now. It’s like, ‘What happened?’ It was such a big stadium and now it’s nearly gone.”
For as many memories as the Glovers have had, they’re hopeful whatever comes next can continue to do the same.
“San Diego has so much to offer for people to come here and to have a sporting event,” Glover said. “I hope that the stadium is worthy of what San Diego is.”