Granted, this was kind of a no-brainer. But McLeod does score points for bringing up what I think is the best solution:
McLeod opined that based on what’s happened in other sports, the neutral site regional concept might be on its way to extinction in favor of a return to campus sites. He noted that in NCAA women’s basketball, they’ve gone back to a campus site arrangement after trying the regional system for several years. The NCAA hockey tournament was last played on campus sites in 1991.Ask anyone what the best thing about college hockey is and 9 times out of 10 you'll hear that the atmosphere at games is incredible. You don't get that at placid regional sites that price out students and many hardcore fans.
The money is probably right too. If each of the 8 higher-seeded teams hosted their first-round match-up, the numbers would likely at least equal out to having four teams play in a large building far away, and cuts travel costs in half by eliminating it for one team. It also removes the issue of a lower seeded team having a home ice advantage.
Personally, I'd like to see each series made a best-two-out-of-three series as well. The NCAA tournament has become about as random as a coin flip in recent years, and extending the length of the series would help let the best teams advance through the tournament. The season would have to be a little longer to allow only one round per weekend, but the current length of the season is an arbitrary boundary, not a fixed one.