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The Floor Changer
Anna Holmes
November 26, 2001
Paul Chambers, 50, switches the arena surfaces at Boston's FleetCenter between hockey and basketball games.
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November 26, 2001

The Floor Changer

Paul Chambers, 50, switches the arena surfaces at Boston's FleetCenter between hockey and basketball games.

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What's your job?

I'm a member of the FleetCenter Bull Gang. About 40 of us change the floors, put up seating and put up the glass alongside the rink. I started when I was 18, at the old Boston Garden.

Why is it called the Bull Gang?

I think it's because we work like bulls.

What skills are needed for this job?

You have to lift heavy objects. You have to know how a sports arena runs. And the floor setup is like putting together a puzzle.

How do you go from ice to hardwood?

At the Garden we'd put canvas down over the ice, then put a wood subfloor down, and over that we'd put the parquet panels. There were 244 panels and 988 screws. It took two to 2� hours.

Is it different at the FleetCenter?

We don't have to screw down the new floor; it just interlocks. We use a hammer to push everything together. But it actually takes 30 to 45 minutes longer than it did at the Garden.

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