You are correct that track has a limited fan base in part because most meets do not have meaningful results. However, I disagree that this is an inherent part of the sport. We have created this system where the only thing that "matters" is nationals and major championships. Our sport, in fact, is inherently competitive. Figure skating and judged sports are exhibition.
If track coaches, athletes, journalists and enthusiasts were serious about improving fan interest, event experience, athlete and coach wages, etc. they would be working in a more serious and organized fashion to improve the way our sport is conducted. If preseason doesn't matter and 99% of your sport is preseason that's a major problem.
NCAA coaches are working on changes to improve the sport at that level, but there is a huge disconnect between those that see team scores as the solution and those that don't.
On the pro level, our sport will never be popular in the US as long as it is predominantly run by a nonprofit that only cares about global championships. I think fan interest would increase and more athletes/coaches would prosper in a national for-profit league with domestic only competitors.