NFL Unveils 2018 Schedule, With Several Games Routed Around Ed Sheeran Gigs

Ed Sheeran
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– Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran plays the first of three shows at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, March 24.
Stadiums are calling an audible after Ed Sheeran’s upcoming tour schedule conflicted with a number of potential NFL games. 
The National Football League announced its annual schedule Thursday night, giving football fans a chance to analyze the itinerary – including how the British singer/songwriter’s concerts came into play. 
“Outside of NFL Scheduling mavens Howard Katz and Michael North, here’s the man that might have most influenced the NFL schedule,” Sports writer and “NFL Insider” TV analyst Adam Schefter tweeted, along with a graphic that featured a picture of Sheeran and a list of teams without Sunday home games because of concerts the day before. 
The North American leg of Sheeran’s 2018 tour kicks off Aug. 18 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif., and concludes Nov. 10 at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 
Sheeran’s routing affected eight games that would have been held at Detroit’s Ford Field in Detroit, Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.; MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.; Nissan Stadium in Nashville; Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.; U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis; AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. 
Sheeran’s influence on the NFL’s schedule was anticipated ahead of Thursday’s announcement because nearly half of his U.S gigs are scheduled on Saturdays, which don’t give stadiums enough time to prep the venues for a Sunday game.  
Taylor Swift’s tour also affected three NFL games, while the Beyoncé/Jay-Z co-bill outing had the football league move around two games, according to ESPN

Sheeran recently set a record for the biggest concert tour ever Down Under by selling more than 1 million tickets in Australia and New Zealand for 18 shows, breaking Dire Straits’ 32-year record of 950,000 tickets. 

Pollstar reached out to Sheeran’s agent for comment.