Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
The Amway Center may look brand-new from the ground, but from the air the two-year-old facility looks anything but.
The white roof has turned a rusty color, something that wasn't in the blueprints.
"Oh my gosh. This was pure white," said tourist Anna Nixon.
The discolored roof is clearly visible from blimp shots during games, high-rises downtown and planes flying overhead.
"For the amount of events they have in here and the money they are making, at least be presentable. First impressions are very big," said Mark Staskus, a fan.
Jose Colon, an Orlando resident, said the discoloration is embarrassing.
"This building cost $500 million. Should it look like that? No, it shouldn't look like that. This is the taxpayers' money," Colon said.
This isn't the first issue the Amway Center has faced. When it was only a few months old, the steel tower on the top of the Amway Center started to rust. The repair was covered by the contractor.
The city said the contractor will have to foot the bill for whatever is decided about the roof. Men were walking around the roof Wednesday, possibly inspecting the rust first-hand.
It will be a big job trying to clean a roof that covers an 875,000-square-foot facility.
Sadat Smith, an Orlando resident, said as long as the roof isn't leaking, he doesn't care what color it is.
"I never seen it, so I don't think about it. I wouldn't have even known about it if you didn't say anything about it, honestly,” Smith said.
A city of Orlando spokesperson said the discoloration is caused by the lightning protection system, which includes copper, and is part of the natural oxidation process that will continue for a few years.
The city said it has treated the discoloration once before and it was paid for from a construction contingency fund.
Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins said the lightning detection system is naturally oxidizing, and the stains will be pressure-washed during annual maintenance.