Another roadblock, quite literally, came because of the December implosion of an 82-year-old bridge providing key access to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Three Taylor Swift World Tour 1989 concerts also factored in, as did baseball teams in Kansas City, Oakland and Pittsburgh that used to stink but now make October planning a nightmare for the NFL.
Some scheduling conflicts are bound to crop up when trying to cram 256 games into a 17-week span.
This year, that meant factoring in three concerts by the country-turned-pop star, as well as a surprise September visit to Philadelphia from Pope Francis, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Per King, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput asked the league to keep the Eagles out of the city on the day of the pope's visit, and Howard Katz, who led the league's scheduling efforts, obliged.