Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine citizens’ willingness to pay (WTP), in relation to having a professional first-tier football club in a medium-sized Danish municipality, when tangible economic benefits such as economic growth and/or inbound migration produced by these are absent. Design/methodology/approach: Using the contingent valuation method on survey respondents, the study examines factors affecting WTP using binary logistic regression and interval regression and further extrapolates the WTP from the sample to the municipal population. Findings: Citizens significantly value having a first-tier football club in their municipality even when tangible benefits are absent, although a large proportion of respondents stated to be against the municipality being financially involved in professional team sports clubs (PTSC). WTP is largely driven by interest in sports and the local football club. It is argued that the findings cannot be generalized across contexts. Research limitations/implications: There can be circumstances where public subsidy of PTSCs is beneficial to economic welfare. However, authorities should be careful in their evaluation of whether to subsidize PTSCs. Originality/value: The study expands on existing research by informing respondents about the lack of tangible benefits produced by PTSCs, hereby focusing on WTP on an informed basis.