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Q&A: What are the earliest and latest Easter dates?

New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner takes batting practice before a spring training game in Dunedin this month. The team is worth about $2.85 billion, an analyst says.

Associated Press

New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner takes batting practice before a spring training game in Dunedin this month. The team is worth about $2.85 billion, an analyst says.

Easter is Sunday, but it moves around more than other holidays. What's the earliest date Easter can be and the latest, and why?

Easter, the annual Christian celebration of Jesus Christ's resurrection, can fall anywhere from March 22 to April 25.

Easter as early as March 22 is very rare. The last time it happened was 1818, and the next time will be 2285. Easter last fell on the latest date in 1943, and will again in 2038. Next year it's April 20.

How the date is determined sounds simple but is pretty complex. Generally, Easter is observed on the Sunday following the first full moon in the Northern Hemisphere, or the first full moon after the vernal equinox March 20.

But astronomical observations depend on where you are in the world, so a table is used to set the date every year. You can find an explanation of how a date for Easter is set and a list of the dates, past and present, at assa.org.au/edm, the website of the Astronomical Society of South Australia.

Value of Yankees, Steinbrenners

Where do the New York Yankees and the Steinbrenners rank money-wise in sports and in Florida?

The New York Yankees are generally regarded as the most valuable team in Major League Baseball. When the Los Angeles Dodgers were sold in 2012 for $2.3 billion, a respected analyst put the Yankees' worth at $2.85 billion.

The analyst, Tony Wibble of the Philadelphia firm Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, based his number on the price per TV household, because he believes TV rights drive a team's valuation. Los Angeles has about 5.57 million households, so dividing the purchase price by the number of households yields a value of $386 per TV household. New York City's designated market area is 7.39 million, leading to the $2.85 billion valuation.

Forbes magazine has its own method to annually rank the world's most valuable sports franchises. In January, it calculated that Manchester United, the British soccer team owned by the Glazer family (which also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), had a value of $3.3 billion. Another soccer team, Real Madrid, came in second at $1.88 billion, followed by the Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys at $1.85 billion.

The Steinbrenner family has owned the Yankees for 40 years. George Steinbrenner bought the team from CBS in 1973 for about $10 million.

When Steinbrenner died in Tampa on July 13, 2010, at age 80, his fortune was estimated at $1.1 billion by Forbes. That put him 880th on the world's billionaire list and 341st in the United States.

His sons, Hank and Hal, are now co-owners and partners of the team. No Steinbrenner appeared in the 2013 Forbes list of the world's billionaires or in the top 400 richest Americans released in September 2012.

Q&A: What are the earliest and latest Easter dates? 03/25/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 5:07pm]
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