The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games ending without the athletes at the forefront was a "complete stuff up", committee chairman Peter Beattie admitted to Sunrise on Monday.
The closing ceremony was labelled as underwhelming, with fans and Seven Network commentators slamming organisers for not providing vision of athletes entering Carrara Stadium.
"We got it wrong. I can't be more honest about it than that,” Mr Beattie said.
"We stuffed it up and I apologise to the viewers and the athletes."
He told Sunrise their decision to not show the athletes walking through the stadium was made based on the competitor's welfare.
“We were concerned about the welfare of athletes,” he explained.
“When you have thousands of athletes, where do you put them?
"They have competed, they are exhausted, and the last thing they want is to stand in a field for one hour to get into a closing ceremony."
In front of a disappointing crowd at Carrara Stadium, Channel 7 host Johanna Griggs accused the event organisers of destroying a beloved tradition.
"We can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual host broadcasters," Griggs said.
"They made the decision not to have athletes enter the stadium. They made the decision not to show the flag bearers.
"I'm furious. They're actually, wrecking a tradition that is so important.
"You want to see the athletes come in. You want to see them jumping in front of camera. You want to see them celebrating 11 days of great sport.
"We missed out on all of that. There's no athletes in here. I've never seen the stadium so empty halfway through a ceremony."
Fans who tuned into the closing ceremony hoping to see Aussie flag-bearer Kurt Fearnley did not mask their disappointment either.