An 80-year-old sports promoter who sued the city after his wife was killed by thugs has agreed to a settlement in which Detroit will finance a $2 million athletics program to get similar youths "off the front page . . . and onto the sports page."

The out-of-court agreement, expected to be approved by the City Council, came in a suite filed against the city by Leo Salakin, who was beaten unconscious with a crowbar. His wife, Pearl, was stabbed to death in the same attack in their home.

City officials said the proposed settlement, which they describe as unprecedented, called for the establishment of a foundation to promote amateur athletics in Detroit.

In his suit for $3 million in damages, Salakin claimed that when the thugs began smashing in the front door of his home on May 3, 1976, he called the 911 police emergency number and was told by the operator to find out who was outside.

Salakin recovered conscious shortly after the intruders left but was unable to move for three days while his wife's crumpled body was lay nearby.

Four persons later confessed to the murder and assault, but they recanted their confessions and were freed by a jury.