Again, I think it's a matter of trying to get as much bang for the buck as the band can. This is primarily due to the self-imposed limitations they put on touring. Since they limit the amount of time they are out on the road, they need to try to fit as many shows in to this time period with the most profits and least costs. I'd wager that, for whatever reason, it was more cost effective for them to book the tour starting in the NE part of Canada and ending in the NW part of the US, than to route the tour so that it would hit the south/southeast part of the US. To what extent that is due to the promoters not willing to pony up as much money as in other regions, the (lack of) availability of appropriate venues or other unknown reasons is up in the air unless either the band, their management or their booking agent(s) specifically make a definitive statement. In any case, apparently it's been much more cost effective for them to tour the way they have been.
That said, as can be heard on that interview that you (bluehaze) posted, the band is aware that they haven't played the south/southeast as regularly as other parts of the country. And I'd bet that JL wouldn't have made the comments regarding doing shows in that area if there wasn't something in the works. Whether they come to fruition remains to be seen, and realistically, things can change. But while I wouldn't get your hopes up at the present time, it seems like this might finally be the tour where the band does an Evening With tour that includes shows in the south/southeast, although I'd imagine that it will be during a different leg of the tour than what we see now.