Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- The Louisiana Superdome helps define the New Orleans skyline.
But lately the stadium's roof has presented a tarnished image for the city and the Who Dat Nation.
People on the street in front of the 'Dome don't like what they see.
'Faded and dirty,' said one man. 'It could use a good pressure washing.'
Another man said, 'I think it distracts from the whole building. It's a shame. It really is.'
'The Superdome represents the New Orleans Saints,' said Saints fan Louis Pitt. 'We should clean that roof and make it look beautiful.'
Superdome executive Doug Thornton agrees.
'It bothers me as much as it bothers the fans,' said Thornton. 'Every day when I drive in and see the roof I ask the question, 'Why is it getting so dirty and why is it happening so rapidly?'
There are several theories as to how the roof got so filthy.
'It's not the smoke from the marsh fire,' said Thornton. 'It's not the residue from the BP oil spill. We've had all kinds of hypothecations about it. It's actually just plain old mold like you'd find on your house.'
The mold attracts dirt and pollution, and the result is a 10-acre mess on top of the dome.
The roof is now scheduled to be washed next week.
'It's been in the plans now for several weeks,' said Thornton. 'We had to schedule it with the contractor to get up there at a time when the Saints were away.'
Thornton promises the roof will be clean again before the Saints home opener against the Bears a week from Sunday.
'I want the roof to be white when we play on national TV and certainly have it continue to be that way throughout the remaining portion of the year,' said Thornton.
Stadium managers say the Superdome roof is expected to be painted in the offseason. They say a special mold and mildew inhibitor will be added to the paint to help keep the top of the 'Dome from looking so dirty in the future.
The price tag for just one pressure washing on top of the 'Dome is $90,000.