When I moved to St. Petersburg in 1966 I fished from the old St Petersburg Fishing Pier about three times a week, and I really enjoyed it. It was so convenient: Park your car, pay the parking fee, buy your bait, flip the trunk on your car, get your fishing gear, and have a ball.
Since the closing of the fishing pier, I have probably been to The Pier about three times - and not because of the cost, but because it had nothing to offer.
It is true that the city may not make a lot of money off a fishing pier, but they won't lose a lot of money, either.
Sorry - no bait for the pelicans.