This has been read enough that I am going to post my own solution.
For the client I decided to convert all the VMs that were being archived into single OVA files. Once completed, the entire library of VMs were moved to large slow storage. After about 90 days of downtime the files will be moved to tape archive and shelved. This did save tremendous amount of space in all locations. It also allows us the flexibility to redeploy the VMs if needed on any platform the client maybe using in the future.
Boston Tech Guy