Private businesses could be footing some of the bill for the new $66 million St. Petersburg Pier.  

  • Groundbreaking set for early 2017
  • Firm to evaluate value of sponsorships
  • City councilman said he's fine with idea

The city is considering the possibility of sponsors for the project. Corporations would get the advertising, while the venue will get some of its bills paid.

"If some companies or some individuals would like to support the pier project in that manner, I’d be fine," said St. Petersburg Council Member Steve Kornell.

The city is in the early stages of exploring the possibility. The next step is bringing in a firm to evaluate what sponsorships would be worth.

The process could take about a year and a half.

If the city moves forward with sponsorship, officials said the signage would be kept rather discreet.

“I’m not talking about a big digital billboard out there on the pier,” Kornell said. "That would not be acceptable to me. But as long as it’s tasteful, I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.”

The city said it’s already received some interest in sponsorships. Groundbreaking for the pier is set for early 2017.