I don't get to more than a handful of games being that we live in Bemidji, but the single deterrent if we've ever decided against going was just price. We justify it, if it's MN/Wis/DU etc, but if it's gas, food, then $50/ticket for a less than stellar opponent...NCHC TV starts to sound a lot better than dropping $150-$200 and getting home at midnight.
Obviously attendance is affected by team success, as well. There's been times when I've driven over for the first 6 or 8 games of the year because you knew you were seeing greatness. There's also been times that it's not worth the trip to see the boys grinding it out with BSU.
The crowd is just disappointing in general, regardless of size. Half the people would rather play a game on their phone, than actually watch the game. It's always heartbreaking to lose like they did in Fargo vs BU. Not only because the year is over, but you know that's it's going to be another year before there's a chance at the great atmosphere again.
And yes, the students standing in front of the suites, does suck. I rarely sit in my companies suite because I'd rather be in the suites, but when I have, it's really annoying. I don't think I'd care as much if they were standing to cheer because they are into the game, but most are just standing and talking to each other.