Started getting into college hockey recently, and am noticing a pretty serious problem with the college sport in general - they simply don't have enough schools participating.
There are 60 collegiate schools for hockey, and that number hasn't changed in basically a full decade, even though colleges routinely expand for baseball, football and basketball when the number of participants rise. And that's what's happening for college hockey; so many new and quality players are popping up all over the place. Recruits from Europe, Canada and southern US States are wanting to play. But all that talent is fighting for just over 1,450 available spots nationwide.
So apparently it's expensive to start hockey programs. No doubt that makes sense. And that's the #1 deterrent for most schools not willing to yet make the jump into the sport.
Still, would be nice to see an expansion of colleges willing go for it. Especially in the southern and coastal states. The players need a place to play. I wonder if this has more to do with fan interest, like the colleges are worried the investment won't translate the same into enough viewership to make it worth the money? Doesn't seem to stop college baseball, though I will grant it's far cheaper to create a baseball field over a hockey arena.