But that's not what concert promoters and developers want to hear.
In June, Liberty State Park marked its 25th anniversary. The 1,112-acre Jersey City landmark remains a very undeveloped refuge famous for its stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and New York City skyline.
But due to its location, major developers have tried for years to build entertainment facilities at the park. Conservationists, on the other hand, like the park just the way it is.
In January of this year, a plan was introduced by the Liberty State Park Development Corporation and ClearChannel Entertainment, formerly SFX Entertainment, to build a permanent amphitheater to accommodate 20,000 people in the park. The plan was denied last month by the state Department of Environmental Protection, who said the proposal created some problems that would have affected regular park goers.
President of the Friends of Liberty State Park Sam Pesin is against the construction of an amphitheater because he feels it would destroy the beauty of the park.
"There should be no amphitheater and no admission fees for concerts," Pesin said. "Developers come back because they're greedy."
In order to keep concert promoters away from the park, Pesin has asked the members of his group to write letters to park and state officials requesting them to eliminate the park's Development Corporation. Pesin said they are the people responsible for proposing plans for an amphitheater or a performing arts center at the park.
The Development Corporation "has a clueless arrogance about the public's clear desire for urban open space and about the traffic consequences of a commercial amphitheater," Pesin said.
The Liberty State Park Development Corporation was created by the state in the mid-1980s. Its role is to bring in outside developers to invest in the park to help fund its day to day operations. They also have to do that in the public's best interest.
President of the Development Corporation Peter Ylvisaker is not surprised Pesin wants to start a public support campaign to eliminate the body. According to Ylvisaker, he has the same vision as Pesin of having a park that is free to the public and provides a beautiful landscape for the city. But, Ylvisaker said, in order to maintain the park, some development has to be allowed.
"I think Sam [Pesin] has to share this park with others," Ylvisaker said. "We're not trying to hide anything. I've always been one to listen and react to change."
Ylvisaker said that Pesin is the one who will not talk or listen.
The Development Corporation was responsible for bringing in the marina at the park in 1996 and for the few playgrounds that exist throughout the park, Ylvisaker said. In all, Ylvisaker said, the Development Corporation has raised over $30 million since its inception, money that has gone to fund the park's operations.
"We're very community oriented," he said. "That's why we are here."
Vice-President of Operations at ClearChannel Entertainment Dominic Roncace said his company was looking to do a summer concert series at the park this summer, but that it fell through because the DEP did not approve it. The DEP said it wasn't in the public's best interest because it would create traffic and might block views of the park.
Roncace realizes the park is a small venue to hold large concerts, so he said that his company would make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the people at the shows.
"This facility is appropriate for quality shows," Roncace said.
In 1986, a temporary facility for 20,000 people was considered and rejected by the DEP. Since then, the park has held small concerts on temporary stages for such acts as Wynton Marsalis, Andrea Bocelli and the Furthur Festival.
In August, British rock band Radiohead will perform at the park. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend, according to park superintendent Stephen R. Ellis.
In addition, on the weekends the park holds free admission concerts featuring jazz and classical music performers near the marina.
To address the issues of parking and traffic that affect the park when it hosts large events, Roncace said that ClearChannel is a professional entertainment firm that knows how to create a healthy environment for concert-goers, so such problems would be avoided.
In addition, Roncace said the community surrounding the park would benefit tremendously from a permanent concert venue because they would have a world-class entertainment center in their town that would also create jobs.
"We work in conjunction with the community," Roncace said. "We want to have a spectacular setting as long as it is done in the spirit of the park."
Too many people
DEP spokeswoman Sharon Southard said that the proposal for the amphitheater was reviewed and denied because the promoter wanted to hold 20 concerts during the summer, a number too high for the park to handle. "We review applications from promoters who want to have one or two concerts, but 20 concerts is too many," Southard said.
In addition, having a concert center at the park would create unavoidable traffic and parking problems, Southard said.
She did not dismiss the possibility of more activities in the future at the park, but for now there are no plans. Ellis echoed Southard's comments, saying no plans for a mini-concert series had been accepted.
"There have been plans proposed, but none accepted," Ellis said. "When we make a decision we make sure there are no negative impacts on the park goers."
Ellis wants park patrons to have easy access to the park at all times, without traffic.
"The park was built for visitors," he said. "All things must be considered before plans can be made."
Jersey City planning director Bob Cotter is familiar with the State Park and its potential for developers to turn it into a world-renowned venue. In the past, the city has tried to get involved in some developments at the park, but they have failed, Cotter said.
"I think the idea of an amphitheater died because it had too many issues," Cotter said. "The problems are parking and loud music."
The biggest problem with the park is moving people in and out during large events, Cotter said.
"The logistics of the park make it impossible for 20,000 people to come see a concert," he said. "I think the park should be a public park for the people."
Personally, Cotter would like to see the park continue to be a green backdrop for the Statue of Liberty.
"I would love to see the site be used by more residents," he said. "It would be wonderful to get more access." The park employs 10 rangers, 20 maintenance workers, 10 administrators, and 10 interpretive employees.