Ahead of the January 28th release of the complete 2016 MEIJI YASUDA J1 League fixture schedule, the J.League has announced its calendar of key dates for the upcoming campaign.
The league announced last week that the first stage of the J1 will take place between February 27 and June 25, with the second stage beginning on July 2 and concluding on the November 3 national holiday of Culture Day.
The late February start, the earliest in league history, has been established in order to allow for greater flexibility in scheduling around AFC Champions League fixtures as well as enable the MEIJI YASUDA J.League Championship to conclude well in advance of the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup.
The Championship will return for a second year with a revised format intended to give greater weight to the overall table.
The first round will take place as early as November 6 if necessary, the semi-final taking place on November 23, and the finals taking place on November 29 and December 3.
To accommodate these changes, the J.League Yamazaki Nabisco Cup will conclude on October 15 rather than its traditional finale between late October to early November.
2016 J1 League Calendar
MEIJI YASUDA J1 League First Stage
February 27 (Saturday) – June 25 (Saturday)
MEIJI YASUDA J1 League Second Stage
July 2 (Saturday) – November 3 (Thursday)
MEIJI YASUDA J.League Championship
First Round – November 6 (Sunday)
Semifinal – November 23 (Wednesday)
Final 1st Leg – November 29 (Tuesday)
Final 2nd Leg – December 3 (Saturday)
J.League Yamazaki Nabisco Cup Group Stage
Round 1 – March 23 (Wednesday)
Round 2 – March 27 (Sunday)
Round 3 – April 6 (Wednesday)
Round 4 – April 20 (Wednesday)
Round 5 – May 18 (Wednesday)
Round 6 – May 25 (Wednesday)
Round 7 – June 5 (Sunday)
J.League Yamazaki Nabisco Cup Knockout Stage
Quarterfinal 1st Leg – August 31 (Wednesday)
Quarterfinal 2nd Leg – September 4 (Sunday)
Semifinal 1st Leg – October 5 (Wednesday)
Semifinal 2nd Leg – October 9 (Sunday)
Final – October 15 (Saturday)