Country singer Garth Brooks' decision to cancel all five of his comeback concerts in Ireland left not only fans in a lurch, but lost Dublin about $68 million that would have been spent in the city had the concerts gone on as planned, Irish senator Averil Power told FOX411.
"The cancellation of the concerts has been a massive disappointment to the Garth Brooks fans here, and it's also been a disaster for the city of Dublin," she explained. Had the concerts been held, Dublin would have gained "€50 million" in revenue for a city that is "reliant on tourism."
Ireland Councillor Nial Ring charged that Brooks' decision to cancel all five shows was purely for economic reasons.
"Garth Brooks hasn't been here in 17 years and if he loves his Irish fans then why is he pulling out of these concerts?" Ring asked. "He says it's because he doesn't want to disappoint some fans but quite frankly, I don't buy that. I have no doubt that his accountants and the money people behind him had done the numbers and I believe he would have made money [from fewer shows]. Three would have been enough and the five would have been enough to pay off the national debt of Ireland."
Despite Power wanting the city to give Brooks a "good strong Dublin welcome," the singer released a statement last week saying he would play five shows or none after local residents protested the concerts.
"To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another," he said.
Residents opposed the shows citing an ordinance stating the Croke Park venue where the concerts were set to take place is prohibited from hosting more than three concerts per year. Exceptions can be made by requests to the Dublin City Council.
"Dublin City Council hopes that Garth Brooks will avail of the license that has been granted and plays the three shows," the Dublin City Council said in a statement to FOX411. "Of course the City Council has sympathy for those ticket holders who purchased tickets for the shows on Monday and Tuesday and would hope that these two shows could be facilitated at some stage in the future."
Ticketmaster said they will be honoring refunds for the 400,000 tickets purchased, but that doesn't change the fact that thousands of Brooks fans will miss the chance to see the singer perform.
"I think it's clear that we need to change the licensing system because the problem arose from 400,000 tickets were sold before they were licensed," Power said. "I'll be prioritizing this as a legislator because when people buy their tickets, they assume rightly [that they have the tickets] and the different legalities have been worked out.
"I think it would have been great if [Brooks] could have come for the three concerts," she continued.
The stint had been billed as a "Comeback Special" for the 52-year-old superstar after more than a decade of semi-retirement. Brooks was originally scheduled to play two shows, and when the number of performances was increased to cope with demand, some nearby residents complained. The cancellation was announced by the concerts' promoter Aiken Promotions on their website Tuesday.
"There were some planning issues and the local government made a decision that disallowed to of the concerts initially planned," Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government spokesman John Whelan told FOX411. "It's an issue that I can tell you that we're going to look at it from a planning perspective."
A rep for Brooks did not return FOX411's request for comments.
The singer is one of the top-selling artists in U.S. history, selling more than 128 million albums.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.