This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with veteran journalist Ron Futrell, who has been covering sports in Las Vegas for decades and has reported on the growth and challenges for both college and professional sports. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Futrell talks about the challenges facing Las Vegas professional and college sports as a result of the coronavirus; how major league teams will play to empty stadiums and arenas to fulfill their TV contracts and at least earn that portion of the revenue stream; the devastating financial impact on minor league teams and their players, as well as on UNLV sports; and one of the top sports stories he broke (among many Futrell has reported) that no one else in the local media would touch.
Futrell began his broadcasting career in the early ’80s in Salt Lake City at KSXX radio and KTVX TV. From there, he covered sports and news at KNDO TV in Yakima, WA.
He has covered Stanley Cup Finals, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals and NCAA Championships. Futrell has reported on virtually every major sporting event in Las Vegas over the past three decades, including major boxing and MMA events, NASCAR races, the rise and fall of UNLV basketball, the careers of local athletes like Greg Maddux, Andre Agassi, Randall Cunningham and Mike Tyson, along with many others. He is also well known for covering local high school and club sports in Las Vegas.
Futrell is perhaps best known in Las Vegas for his work covering UNLV basketball throughout its glory days. As host of the Jerry Tarkanian TV show for 10 years, he was able to get the inside story on one of most remarkable teams in college basketball history.