The 3rd Annual Michigan Pinball Expo at OU

Have you heard about the Michigan Pinball Expo?

The Third Annual event will again be held at the Oakland Center on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester. The exposition is unique and “one of the top three pinball shows” according to Show Director, John Kosmal. Enthusiasts come from all over the nation and around the world. Kosmal stated players are coming from as far as Germany and Italy. “We had about 1,000 the first year, 2,600 last year, and we are hoping to reach 5,000 this year,” Kosmal continued.

The event runs four days (Thursday April 12 – Sunday April 15) and is geared to be “a super-fun family-friendly event.” It really is designed for all ages and all levels. Door prices are $15 per day or $60 for all four days and allow unlimited play. A good deal if you consider most pinball machines run nearly $1.00 per play these days.

What if you have a competitive nature?

There are several different tournaments that last from a few hours to a few days during the run of the expo. The Pinbrawl XI is good for all levels of skill with two-person teams. It’s held on Saturday (April 14) morning from 8:00 a.m. until noon and costs $50 per person to enter. A new Emerald City Limited Edition Wizard of Oz Pinball Machine will be the grand prize for this tournament.

Another tournament is the Annual Wizards in Training Kids Tournament. It’s free for 2-8 year olds on Saturday, April 14, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and for 9-12 year olds on Saturday, April 14, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. “Every player is made to feel like a star” and is all about fun.

And there’s more!

A variety of venders will be on hand. If you have your own pinball machine or if you’re looking to buy one, several booths will be available to help you. Also scheduled are special guest speakers from the pinball industry, including Kevin Kulek from Predator Pinball and Gary Stern from Stern Pinball, Inc.

Many of the pinball machines at the expo come from individual enthusiasts and collectors. John Kosmal, the show’s director, will have at least seven pinball game machines from his personal collection. He will also be bringing his newest game, the AC/DC Pinball Machine. John states it has “everything from the ‘ding-ding’ and ‘dong’ to the music of AC/DC going off” as the player racks up points during play.


If you go:

Over 150 pinball games providing fun for the whole family, or a great date night for couples, go to the web site for more info:

Show Times are Thursday through Saturday 8:00 a.m.–midnight and Sunday 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Discount tickets are available for pre-event purchase, students, and staff of Oakland University. Kids under the age of four get in free.

Photos are courtesy of the Michigan Pinball Expo.

Michael Dwyer is a freelance writer and travel columnist. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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