A friend of mine at work is hosting a Michigan Pinball Expo for the next 4 days. I told him I would post something on all the forums I visit. I started to type something up, but instead decided to just copy an paste an email that he sent out to our company. I think it best describes the event.
If you are of a tl;dr mindset, Pinball Expo at Oakland University the next 4 days. Tickets are $10/day today or $15 at the door. http://mipinball.com
Most of you know my passion for all things pinball. I attend many shows, play in a league, and champion pinball where ever and when ever I can. Pinball is far from dead, hobbyists and collectors help keep the game of pinball alive, along with pinball shows and tournaments around the country, Arcade operators still buy and put pins on location, but it has become less profitable in the realm of video games and other technologies competing for the quarters of people young and old. Little that you might know, Michigan is actually one of the hot beds for pinball, right behind Chicago (the birthplace of pinball), and California. The amount of games in some of my friends private collections is astonishing. We spend hours and weeks, even months, restoring our pins to the grandest condition we can, all for the love of the game, and to have our friends and families over to play them.
The one thing that the Metro Detroit area has been lacking for many years is it's own pinball show. There are huge shows in Chicago, Texas, Pittsburgh (home of the world pinball championships), Boston, and many smaller shows dotted around the country. There is even a small show in Kalamazoo every April, Pinball At The Zoo, which is a decent small show for the MI, OH, IN crowd. This year, my fellow pinheads and I are working to bring a show to Metro Detroit to rival those big shows that happen in the other big cities. The show will be located at Oakland University from July 8th - July 11th, 8am - midnight (5pm Sunday), in the banquet hall located upstairs from the main food court area. We will have almost 100 games set on free play from all eras of history in pinball. Not to mention we will be featuring a prominent bank of tournament pinballs from the sole remaining manufacturer of pinball in the world, Stern Manufacturing. There will be tournaments that are targeted at all ages, all skill levels, with cash prizes paid out.
This whole event is being put together with families in mind. We want to encourage people to play pinball again, and show kids who might have never seen a pinball machine (or a working one) before what it's all about. New games that would appeal to families such as Iron Man, Spiderman, Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons and Pirates of the Caribbean will all be present.
Even though this is our first year doing this in the Metro area, the amount of support and pledges of assistance and games is overwhelming. The show is already a hit on paper, we just need people to come and attend to help make it more of a success.
In closing, please consider this my impassioned Girl Scout cookie, Boy Scout peanut tin, Pampered Chef trinket, attend an OSB event plea to consider attending at least one day if you can. We're not looking to make a profit and get rich off this, but to bring a world class pinball show to a Metro Detroit area that has been aching for one for many years now. Ticket pre-sales are up on the website and you can save money by purchasing tickets ahead of time versus at the door. The website will have much more content added this coming week, but you can ask me any questions you might have in the meantime.
I'd like to add that they put a great deal of time, effort, and money into this this year and are hoping to get enough returns to pay for another run next year. As much as you are a fan of Michigan Football, he is 10x the fan of Pinball (He brought in 5 pinball machines to our work for us and has several others at his house). If you have some free time this weekend, I strongly encourage you to stop by. If nothing else, I'll be there Sunday and you can possibly meet me.