(CNN) -- Garth Brooks appears on the verge of a tour comeback, but it apparently won't be launched in Ireland as had been planned.
The country star's promoter confirmed Tuesday it was canceling "The Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event" in Dublin because the city council there would only approve three concerts -- not the five that Brooks wanted.
"No concerts will take place," a statement from Aiken Promotions said. "The ticket return process will be outlined tomorrow." The promoter said 400,000 tickets had been sold.
Brooks' name was on a statement given to the Irish media insisting he would do "five shows or none at all."
"To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another," the statement said.
Brooks was the biggest selling solo recording act ever when he left the road and studio behind to concentrate on raising his three daughters 13 years ago. Fans have only seen him perform since then at a few benefit concerts and a weekend residency in Las Vegas.
His youngest daughter Allie graduated high school in May, relieving Brooks of his paternal duty to drive his kids from his farm in Owasso, Oklahoma, to school each morning and be there for every soccer match.
Brooks revealed last December in a "Good Morning America" interview that wife Trisha Yearwood and his daughters had given him approval to launch a world tour in 2014. He has scheduled a news conference on Thursday for what is expected to be a tour announcement.
The Dublin shows had been planned for Croke Park Stadium, a football arena that can hold more than 90,000 fans, on five consecutive nights during the last week of July.
The city council approved Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows, but rejected licenses for Monday and Tuesday night concerts. The city noted the stadium was "in a heavily populated residential area" and five nights of Garth Brooks would be "an over intensification of use of the stadium."
The traffic, noise and "potential antisocial behaviour" by Brooks fans could add up to "an unacceptable level of disruption" for Dublin residents, the council said.
The city promised residents it would limit the number of special events to three each year when the stadium was renovated several years ago. It already hosted three concerts in May, the council's statement said.
The promoter surrendered Tuesday, saying it had "exhausted all avenues regarding the staging of this event."
Several dozen angry fans gathered outside the stadium Tuesday to protest with chants and signs, demanding the shows be allowed.
CNN's Joan Yeam contributed to this report.