Haute Living Miami Ambassador Radmila Lolly On The “New Normal” Of Attending Miami Heat Games

Our Haute Living Miami ambassador, Radmila Lolly, sits down with us to talk to us about the new normal of attending Miami Heat games—one of hers and other fellow South Floridians’ favorite pastimes. Given that she is a season, courtside ticket holder who attended almost every game since moving to Miami, the experience has inevitably changed due to the new Covid era. Here, Lolly walks us through the new protocol and experience of what it’s actually like to go to a game.

Radmila Lolly
(L-R) Nadia French, Radmila Lolly, Deyvanshi Masrani & Ava O’Connor

Photo Credit: Radmila Lolly

HAUTE LIVING: Since you moved to Miami, you‘ve become a quick super fan of the Miami Heat basketball team. Why is that?
RADMILA LOLLY: I moved around quite a bit my whole life, places like London, San Diego, Los Angeles and New York. I was always very fortunate to be able to integrate myself in different cultures, finding my own subculture and interests within different groups that each city had to offer. When I moved to Miami, one of the biggest attractions the city has to offer is the Miami Heat basketball team. It’s a real culture in itself. I honestly knew nothing about basketball until I moved down here but became a fan very quickly; it’s an exciting game with so much technical skill that it really got me so interested. Also, I was grateful to meet so many amazing and interesting people that regularly attend the games. It is very synergistic to me and my lifestyle. I was supposed to sing national anthem last year [to open one of the games]; I was so excited! But as we all know, the NBA was cancelled on March 11th, 2020, so it hasn’t happened yet.

HL: What were your favorite parts about going to the games and the experience overall (pre-covid) as a courtside season ticket holder?
RL: It was a new experience and learning about the game was very interesting to me, especially being that up close, you really feel that you are a part of the action. Of course, I also always enjoyed being able to display my different outfits! The [private lounge] also has a very good pre-dinner meal that I always enjoyed, too.

HL: The Miami Heat organization recently started to allow select ticket holders back into the arena to watch their home games. What were your thoughts on that?
RL: It is nice to have somewhat of a return to normalcy and [the organization] is doing a very good job of testing fans before entering the arena. It definitely gave me something to look forward to and for my first game back, it was a great feeling.

Radmila LollyPhoto Credit: Radmila Lolly

HL: Walk us through the new process of attending a Miami Heat game, how it differed from your game experience in the past and if you felt safe/protected.
RL: I personally like to arrive early. For example, if the game is at 8 p.m., I like to arrive at around 6:30 p.m. [The staff] has mine and my guests’ names in the system for the Covid testing. We take the rapid test [onsite] and retreat to our vehicle to wait for about 20 minutes there, until the results are available. A Miami Heat employee then proceeds to give us a wristband to show that we have all tested negative for Covid. We then proceed inside the arena, where we must at all times keep our masks on—to the point that we are not allowed to drink water from a bottle once inside the arena! But it all feels very safe and well-organized.

HL: The Miami Heat bringing fans back into the stands is just one of many signs of life in Miami as a whole, with life being brought back into the city in the time of Covid. How do you feel about the city opening up in the way that it has, especially in relation to other major cities around the country, like New York and Los Angeles?
RL: It’s been a year since we have started to endure the pandemic. Each state has had it’s own rules and regulations. I hope that people will still be mindful and keep up the processes that keep us safe. I’m hoping that we will all be as safe as possible. I have a lot of great friends in New York and Los Angeles who have told me that they have had a very stressful time dealing with Covid for the most part, which is concerning to hear.

Radmila LollyPhoto Credit: Radmila Lolly

HL: What are some activities and places that you’ve recently become able to visit/resume that you’re happy about and why?
RL: I was happy to have the opportunity to see friends, which I haven’t done in a while. We are still keeping socially distant and we are still wearing masks. It’s nice to hear instruments during my rehearsals too, rather than only by video. And I am excited that I get to perform live shows again, too.