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NFL schedule makers get roughly 200 annual requests from owners to adjust dates


The NFL schedule always seems to work out so well, but that doesn’t mean that their aren’t some serious ups and downs throughout such a process. In fact, schedule makers typically receive more than 200 requests from league owners before and during this process.

“The first step is based in both math and reality,” writes Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “Before creating the schedule, the NFL identifies a small number of games — usually between 40 and 50 — to lock in. The league refers to this as ‘seeding.’ It helps accommodate expectations from television partners for key games in certain time slots, as well as about 200 annual requests from owners who prefer their stadiums not be used in a given week because of concerts, baseball games, marathons and other potential complications.”

However, this is never an easy process, even for some of the brightest minds on the planet while Mark Karwan, Ph.D., a professor of operations research is no exception.

“This is a field I’ve worked in for 46 years, including 43 as a professor,” Karwan told ESPN just last week. “I’ve worked on very difficult problems that take more than 12 hours on the supercomputer to solve. And this is by far the hardest any of us have ever seen.”

The league obviously has a ton riding on the creation of the schedule each year whether it be monetary value and viewership when it comes to primetime games. Nonetheless, the storm will be weathered yet again ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, even if the schedule makers have to sift through more than 200 requests from the league’s higher-ups.