PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that Pittsburgh has submitted the paperwork to apply for one of two expansion franchises to be awarded by the Arab League next year. Pittsburgh joins London, Paris and Las Vegas, which are also vying for a franchise.

Establish in 1945, the 22-member Arab League has not expanded since the island nation of Comoros was awarded a franchise in 1993. The league’s commissioner, Amr Moussa, says Pittsburgh may have a tough time competing with the other cities.

“Small market cities like Pittsburgh don’t have the Arab population that a London and a Paris does,” said Moussa through an interpreter, “And, Las Vegas is practically a middle eastern country already – it’s a desert, a lot of angry people are crammed in there. All they need is a little more sectarian violence and it could pass for Baghdad.”

Ravenstahl is undeterred. “We’ll truck in sand and build them a new Mosque if we have to,” the Mayor explained. “Did I mention that we’re the most livable city?”

The mayor is expected to tap perennial head-of-a-group-seeking-a-franchise, former County Executive Jim Roddy, to lead the ownership team that would also include Mark Cuban, Howard Baldwin and Jim Balsillie. “I just got to sell those guys on the idea of wearing a keffiyeh and, of course, get them to pay the franchise fee. But that should be no problem because I have a way with people, you know.”

The mayor said he would leave it up to them if they wanted to convert to Islam.