Jackson County vs. Johnson County

WHO'S #1

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  If you live in Jackson County, chances are you think Johnson County is one big suburb lacking character or culture and, yuck, in Kansas. 

   If you like in Johnson County, you're uppity about your public schools, neighborhoods with gates and your extensively manicured lawns. 

   The state line rivalry is alive and well!

   435 has decided to settle this score. It’s throw down time and we’re pitting the counties against each other. It’s Jackson vs. Johnson. Two heavyweights from two different states each with their own pros and cons. We looked at six major areas from schools to shopping to determine which county deserves to be called W-I-N-N-E-R.



   Jackson County




  Two words sum up the best in entertainment in Jackson County: Sprint Center. When it opened 10 years ago with an Elton John concert that sold out in 90 minutes, the Sprint Center elevated the entertainment scene stratospherically and helped turn the Power and Light District into party central. Brenda Tinnen, the Sprint Center’s general manager, says that it was all about “bringing the wow factor back to Kansas City.” Add in the Kauffman Center opening in 2011 and the glam factor of downtown Kansas City (and its skyline) was substantially upped along with a renaissance for the performing arts.

kauffman center for performing arts


   UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance also has a strong arts and entertainment presence along with the KC Repertory Theatre, The Folly Theater and don’t forget the Jazz District at 18th and Vine, internationally recognized as a cradle of the art form.




   If you are a museum lover, Jackson County is your kind of heaven. This museum-topia includes (among others) the Nelson Atkins, the Kemper, the National World War One, The Negro League Baseball Museum and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library.

Kansas City Royals Stadium

Kansas city royals stadium


   If live music, history, visual arts, theater, symphony, ballet and opera aren’t your thing, then Jackson County also has two pro sports teams—the Royals and Chiefs.  Both teams provide hours of entertainment for legions of fans.


Johnson County

Scheels overland park soccer complex


   The 913 doesn't have the pro sports teams or the performing venues and museums of its state line neighbor, but in an area built around a family-centered focus, it has other entertainment enticements like the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex.  The complex is the only one of its kind in the country and earned Overland Park the distinction of being named a “Top Soccer City” in the U.S.

Overland park's top golf


   There’s also a plethora of golf courses and Top Golf, a driving range that’s more about partying than shooting par, in addition to a variety of educational entertainment like the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, the Museum at Prairiefire, and the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.



   Johnson County Community College is home to the internationally acclaimed Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art with one of the top collections of emerging and established artists in the country and college’s Carlsen Center brings top-tier performances to the area.


   With the Sprint and Kauffman Centers, some of the best museums in the country and the Royals and Chiefs, it’s a slam dunk.